Most people place blame on the Celtics preseason woes due to a shortage of talent — but few expected the Celtics to suffer from a simple lack of effort.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the case in Boston. With the preseason barely finished, questions from within the Celtics organization surrounding the players’ commitment have started to bubble up to the surface. Gerald Wallace was the latest to add his opinion of his teammates’ level of motivation after Sunday’s loss to the Timberwolves in Montreal.
“We’re not playing with effort,” Wallace told The Boston Globe. “Guys are out there being selfish. The opponent is giving it their all, regardless of how the night is going.”
Coach Brad Stevens challenged the Celtics to supply a full 48 minutes earlier in the preseason, and Wallace more quietly questioned how hard his teammates were playing last week. But calling teammates "selfish"? Well, that just takes things to an entirely different level. One wonders how anyone on this year’s squad could possibly have been a part of Doc Rivers’ old “cool Celtics.”
“When we step out on the basketball court, we get paid to do this,” Wallace said. “We’re professionals. So our main thing is, you should want to go out every night and win. It shouldn’t be a question of the effort. You’re going to miss shots, you’re going to turn the ball over, things aren’t going to go your way, but it shouldn’t be because you’re not playing hard or you’re not giving your all.”
Wallace led the Celtics with 16 points in the 104-89 loss to Minnesota. The Celtics committed only 12 turnovers but also registered just 12 assists to the T’Wolves’ 20 assists, while being outrebounded 54-40. They attempted 26 3-pointers, missing 23 of those shots, including three by Jared Sullinger and two by rookie center Vitor Faverani.