Semi Ojeleye couldn't help but speak up when he noticed the somber demeanor of his Celtics teammates during Sunday night's loss to the Rockets.
55 seconds into the third quarter with Boston down 71-43, head coach Brad Stevens called a timeout. As the team huddled up, Ojeleye saw a group that appeared to be checked out. The 24-year-old is far from outspoken, but enough was enough.
“Wake the f**k up,” Ojeleye shouted at his teammates, according to Jay King of The Athletic.
After the game, Ojeleye explained the reasoning for his outburst.
“I don’t normally do that, but I felt like we were kind of splitting apart,” Ojeleye said. “And I think we have to try to change it. I mean, the season’s wasting away. In the NBA teams are only together for so long. So it’s time to change it.”
The C's are 3-7 in their last 10 games, and Stevens said a season-long lack of chemistry was to blame for the team's woes. Ojeleye attributes the struggles to a lack of effort.
“Making or missing shots isn’t going to determine our wins or losses,” he said. “It’s really about effort right now. And I was just trying to tell guys to wake up. The look on everybody’s faces was like we already lost the game, and it was the start of the third quarter.
“It’s been tough [for the Celtics lately] because the reason you play basketball is to be a part of a group, a second family, a group of brothers. I think right now we’re struggling to find that in each other. And I think when we do – because we’re definitely capable of it, we’ve shown it at times – I think everything will come together.”
Things aren't about to get any easier for the scuffling C's as they head out west for a four-game road trip, starting with a Tuesday matchup vs the Warriors.
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