The Boston Celtics have been very inconsistent this season -- looking like an NBA Finals contender in some games and playing like a mediocre team in others.
The rollercoaster campaign has been difficult to watch at times, and the last few weeks are no exception. The Celtics are 0-4 since the All-Star break, including horrible double-digit losses on the road to the lowly Chicago Bulls and division-leading Toronto Raptors.
C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked Thursday about the team's recent slide during his weekly appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher and Rich" morning show, and the word he picked to describe Boston's 2018-19 season probably is one most fans would use as well.
“We were ready to play to start the game and our guys were anxious and excited (for a) Raptors game, and we came out of the gates and played well,” Ainge said. “And then we hit that skid in the second quarter, and I think that there was hope lost. If there’s one word that I would say that describes this team so far is frustrating. We lack that resolve. At home, it’s been better. I think our crowd has been good, keeping us in there when things aren’t going great a lot of this year, but we haven’t been as good of a road team, and I just don’t know if we’ve had enough resolve to fight through those types of 22-2 runs, and that was disappointing in that Toronto game. I just didn’t feel like we had the fight to get out of that whole once we got in it.”
Ainge's comments on "resolve" and "fight" certainly are interesting, too.
The Celtics outplayed the Raptors in the first quarter and entered the break with a 32-30 lead. It all fell apart for Boston in the second quarter when Toronto outscored the Celtics 36-13 and never looked back. The C's weren't able to recover from the punch they took from the Raptors, and the effort level was troubling in the second half.
This Celtics team ultimately will be judged by their success (or lack thereof) in the NBA playoffs, but the road to the postseason is very important because homecourt matters. There's a very real chance the Celtics end up as the No. 5 seed and begin the first round on the road. That would be a bad scenario for the Celtics given their struggles on the road (14-16 record).
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