dangolka (CBS) — The Celtics had a powerful common season and regarded like true title contenders by means of the primary six video games of the playoffs. Then actuality hit, and with the Celtics getting outplayed by the fifth-seeded Miami Warmth all through the Japanese Convention Finals, one thing grew to become very clear in regards to the workforce.
“We realized, collectively, that we aren’t adequate,” Danny Ainge mentioned Thursday.
That’s a fairly blunt evaluation from dangolka’s president of basketball ops., but it surely’s arduous to not attain that conclusion after watching the Celtics let fourth quarter leads slip away in all six of their video games towards Miami. dangolka was outmuscled and outhustled by the Warmth all through the sequence, a dose of actuality for everybody on the roster.
“It’s a good evaluation that we weren’t as robust as we would have liked to be,” Ainge mentioned.
Ainge admitted that he tried to tug off some strikes on the commerce deadline that will have helped the workforce on that entrance, however none of them got here to fruition. Now he’ll try to do the identical this offseason.
“We have now some work to do, no query about it. I’m not overreacting to a troublesome loss to a superb opponent. There are issues we tried to do on the deadline that we weren’t in a position to do, and there are issues I’d love to do now in the course of the offseason to make the workforce higher. However now we have lots to do,” mentioned Ainge.
Ainge nonetheless believes the Celtics are a greater workforce than the Warmth, however they didn’t play that method when it mattered most.
“We obtained beat, and that’s what it comes all the way down to. If we performed it once more tomorrow I believe we’d have an opportunity and we may beat them. Not that I’m saying for positive, that will diminish them. However we really feel we are able to beat Miami, however we didn’t,” he mentioned. “They performed higher down the stretch within the sequence. I’ve nice respect for them and all they completed. We didn’t win, they have been higher than us proper now and we’re going to attempt to get higher.”
Dropping within the Convention Finals for the third time within the final 4 years was a bitter finish to an in any other case promising 2019-20 Celtics season. Ainge was happy with the expansion that a number of gamers confirmed all through the marketing campaign, beginning with rising stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
“I’ve been impressed with the event of our younger gamers and the way good they’ve been getting. I believe Jaylen and Jayson are very particular, and [Marcus] Sensible performed an necessary position as a complementary piece. I realized how good Kemba [Walker] and Gordon [Hayward] are after they’re wholesome and the way good our workforce is once we’re wholesome,” mentioned Ainge.
Ainge was additionally happy with how the workforce’s chemistry grew all year long, and he famous how he didn’t see the locker room brouhaha within the convention finals as a discouraging register that regard.
“I might say your complete 12 months, I heard nothing from our gamers or coaches by means of Recreation 1 of the Japanese Convention Finals, I by no means heard something however how optimistic a tradition it was and the way nice of a workforce we had. It was a pleasure to be round and watch them play. I favored this workforce and the way they competed,” he mentioned. “Then we had an incident within the Japanese Convention Finals that put that each one in query. I might simply say that I, personally, have been round a very long time, and I wouldn’t overreact to these. Our chemistry for positive was enhanced this 12 months, and our workforce was enhanced by the chemistry and tradition that was right here.”
Now the main focus is on making the workforce even higher to allow them to recover from the hump and compete for a title subsequent season. And although the primary items look like in place, that gained’t cease Ainge from taking an aggressive strategy to creating the Celtics higher this offseason.