The Boston Celtics 2021-22 season has gotten off to a rocky start, to say the least. Following Monday night’s 128-114 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the TD Garden - a loss that saw the Celtics get outscored 39-11 in the fourth quarter, dropping them to 2-5 on the season - veteran guard and unofficial team spokesman Marcus Smart expressed his himself about the team’s two young stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Though they’ve lost just five games thus far the defeats seem especially tough to swallow, blowing leads that have lead to regulation and overtime losses. And Smart, never one to hold his tongue or not wear his emotions on his sleeve, shared what he thought was the major issue behind the team’s early season struggles.
Smart’s comments, the full text of which can be read here, went borderline viral shortly after they were made. And understandably so, given the candor he displayed about his frustration with his role on the team, the predictable nature of the offense, and his assessment of why the team’s two All-Stars can’t make that next leap fans have been waiting on for some time now.
It should be noted the team has more than just issues with running plays predictably for it’s top stars. The Celtics also had zero defensive rebounds in the fourth quarter in which they were outscored by twenty eight points, as embarrassing a team stat as you may see. New coach Ime Udoka likely knows he has his work cut out for him on multiple fronts over the next few weeks.
But the big takeaway from Monday night will be Smart’s comments, and why he felt compelled to be so brutally honest. Time will tell if this is the wakeup call this team seems to need so desperately.
"I can only do so much just standing in the corner." One thing you can count on is you’ll be hearing that one on the radio and TV and wherever Celtics basketball is discussed for some time to come.
As far as Tatum and Brown’s reaction to Smart’s comments, let alone the game? We’ll have to wait on those.
Trouble in paradise? More like silence in purgatory for now.