The Celtics seemed to take Marcus Morris’ Saturday comments at face value and accept them as truth. But after Monday’s practice, Brad Stevens and Al Horford did try to narrow the focus of the honesty outburst to the last two games, rather than the larger period Morris stated.
Following the loss to the Clippers in which the Celts had squandered a 28-point lead — which came on the heels of blowing an 18-point advantage against the Lakers Thursday — Morris criticized the team for being too individualistic, not having the proper attitude and not having fun.
Stevens didn’t seem disturbed by Mook’s message.
“You know, one of the things that we say at the very beginning of the year is that we don’t want to be a team quoted of unnamed sources,” said the coach, who will be without Kyrie Irving (strained right knee) against Philadelphia Tuesday (he wasn’t sure about Wednesday here against Detroit). “So if you’re going to say something, you’ve got to put your name next to it. And Marcus’ frustrations were obvious and evident, and you know what, in a lot of ways I thought he said a lot of stuff that you can’t really argue in the last two games. So we need to be a lot better than we were at finishing out games and handling adverse situations in games and go from there. But as long as we can put our name next to it, I’m good.”
As for the lack of joy on this year’s Celtics, Stevens said, “That is a direct result of letting games like that go away and not feeling as together as we need to be. I talk about connectivity all the time. If you’re super connected as a team and you play with great physical effort all the time, then it’s fun as hell. And when you go back and forth, then it’s not as fun. So that’s to me… fun is doing your job well at a high level over and over, and then you kind of catapult off the energy of the results that it brings. The reality is we’ve been pretty good, with the exception of two games where we blew it late.”
According to Morris, there was no blowback from his teammates.