Surprised by the effort of the Boston Celtics against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night?
Ime Udoka wasn't.
The first-year Celtics coach said after the 116-107 loss at TD Garden that the team's intensity and focus wasn't there from not just the start of the game, but from the morning shootaround.
"I told them they were gonna get their asses kicked tonight if you come with that focus in the game and for three quarters, we played the same way," Udoka said. "We waited to get down 15 and started to play with the effort we had in the other four games."
Despite the return of Al Horford to the lineup, as well as 22 points from Dennis Schroeder off the bench, Boston's brief two-game win streak came to a sudden halt against a Washington team that received a relative clunker of a performance from its best player, Bradley Beal (17 points on 7 for 25 shooting, 0 for 6 from 3-point range).
"You've gotta show up every night, you can't just pick and choose," Udoka said, adding he didn't think the Celtics' going to overtime Monday night against the Charlotte Hornets had any sort of carryover.
After combining for 71 points against the Hornets on Monday, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had 36 points together Wednesday.
At 2-3, Boston is off to its worst start since the 2015-16 season.