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Something is clearly not right in Boston. Greg Anthony and Brendan Haywood shed light on the issues plaguing the Celtics.
CHRIS MILES: Two things that Brendan just said there, the fact that you do get 38 points from one guy off your bench, but also Boston-- I mean, you heard the stat now-- 7 and 14 in their last 21 games. And even since then, in the last 14, 5 and 9. I mean, struggling for an extended period of time now.
GREG ANTHONY: You know, it just seems like this team is not connected. There's something wrong with this group because it's one thing to not win games. It's another thing to not necessarily be competitive. And they just don't seem to be one of those teams-- like there was a lot of expectations coming in this year that-- would they have a chance to raise their level and maybe get to a Conference Final?
Right now they're closer to being out of the playoffs than they are to having a chance to get to the Conference Final. And if you're Danny Ainge, if you're a Boston Celtics fan, you should be really concerned about this team right now because they don't look good. Marcus Smart, obviously, is a huge loss. They didn't have Kemba tonight either.
But this team is not performing at a level that most thought. And the bottom line is they're underachieving. And that's got to be a concern big picture for the Celtics moving forward.
CHRIS MILES: Now Brendan, a lot of points that GA makes, they also lost both Terry Rozier, who's playing excellent in Charlotte, and Gordon Hayward, who's playing excellent in Charlotte, in each of the last two offseasons. How much do you think that's affecting this team now to lose guys like that and to lose Marcus Smart with injury and Kemba Walker as well, who did not play on a second night of a back-to-back?
BRENDAN HAYWOOD: Well, I think not having Kemba Walker hurt tonight. And Marcus Smart being out definitely hurt because Marcus Smart is the heart and soul of that team. You saw, I think it was in the bubble, when Marcus Smart was really getting into some of the young guys' faces and letting them know, hey, we got to do things a certain way. We got to pick it up.
Marcus Smart is the guy that on a stat sheet, it doesn't look pretty, but he always finds a way to make winning plays. That's why he's always out there when they close out ball games, whether they got to put him at the power forward position.
They miss Marcus Smart's energy, his presence. And when I look at this team, I look at a team that doesn't have clear cut role definition. Last year was kind of set who was going to be the guy, who wasn't. But now guys get hurt. Jaylen Brown ascends, then Kemba Walker comes back.
They're trying to figure out the mix. And I think that Brad Stevens is going to have to sit these guys down and say, hey, we're going to give everybody their clear role definition of what I need them to do. Because this team, like GA said, is disjointed. They're talented, but they're not playing together. And if they don't pick it up, they will mess around and have some heartbreak in the playoffs.