The Celtics seemed to take little issue with Marcus Morris’s recent postgame comments that “it hasn’t been fun for a long time” in Boston.
“I think when you lose, it’s not fun,” coach Brad Stevens said after practice at the Auerbach Center Monday. “When you lose big leads and you’re getting booed — rightfully so — off the court, it’s not like, ‘Hey, man, that was awesome!’ No, it sucks. It’s not fun.”
“It’s not fun when we’re not playing the right way,” added forward Al Horford. “If you do the right things and play the right way, you can be OK with the results. Right now, we just need to be more consistent in that regard.”
After blowing a 28-point cushion against the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night, Morris called out his teammates for playing like “a bunch of individuals” as opposed to a unified group. He noted multiple times that the recent stretch — even when the team was winning — has not been “fun.” (The Celtics won 10 out of 11 games before bungling 20-plus-point leads in back-to-back games.)
The consensus Monday was that Morris’s sentiment was justified. The Celtics have experienced quite the ups and downs this season, with periods of efficient basketball getting overshadowed by instances of internal frustration, but the past two losses were arguably their lowest point this season. Stevens attributed the unfavorable outcomes to a lack of connectivity.
“Every group has to work its way into the best chemistry it can be,” Stevens said. “Obviously, we’ve got a ways to go, but the really great teams get there. We’ll find out. Our story will be told at the end if we made it or not. This group likes each other. It’s a well-intentioned group.”
Stevens said after the Clippers’ loss he would look inward for potential adjustments moving forward. He, along with the rest of the Celtics, is hopeful Boston will be able to play the right way — “with effort and team-ness” — to close out the season.
“To be in this position and have a chance to compete for something like that, it means a lot to me,” Morris said. “Eight years I’ve been in the league, I never even thought I could win a championship with the teams I was on. This team, I feel a lot different about and I want to push us to that position.”
Kyrie Irving out against the 76ers
Stevens also shared Monday point guard Kyrie Irving will not be available for Tuesday’s road game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Irving injured his right knee in the second quarter against the Clippers. He underwent an MRI Sunday and was diagnosed with a right knee sprain. He is officially listed as day-to-day, and Stevens does not know if he will be available for Wednesday’s home game against the Detroit Pistons.
Without Irving, the Celtics will turn to backup Terry Rozier to start at point guard in their first meeting against the new-fangled Sixers. Philly was busy at the trade deadline, acquiring both forward Tobias Harris and center Boban Marjanovic.
“Obviously, Philly is playing great,” Stevens said. “They were already good, by the way. Like really good. Really well-coached. Great system, great energy. Now, they’re pretty close to ridiculous. That’s a heck of a team.”