Sports

Danny Ainge not blaming stars Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum for Boston Celtics’ ‘main funk’

If you consider groups with a number of All-Stars, you consider dominance — the Jazz, the Lakers, the Nets. The Celtics have two All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, however after Wednesday evening’s blowout loss to the Hawks, Boston is in final place within the Atlantic Division.

Workforce president Danny Ainge is not able to throw his star tandem beneath the bus, nevertheless.

“I want I had solutions for you. I do not,” Ainge mentioned on 98.5 The Sports activities Hub on Thursday. “I do consider in my gamers. I like all of them individually. I believe they’ve good futures. I simply suppose proper now our group is in a significant funk.”

Funk may not be a powerful sufficient phrase to explain Wednesday’s sport. Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Mavericks, the Celtics had been down 13 after one quarter and 23 on the half. They allowed essentially the most 3-pointers in group historical past.

Brown had 17 factors for the Celtics and missed all six of his 3-point makes an attempt. Tatum was held to 13 factors on 4-of-20 taking pictures and was simply 1-of-8 from lengthy vary.

The Celtics have now misplaced three in a row to fall two video games under .500. They’ve dropped eight of 11 video games total and are on the surface wanting in on the playoffs.

“This is what the most important factor about Jaylen and Jayson is,” Ainge mentioned. “They have been shielded earlier than as a result of they’ve had different actually good gamers, veterans round them as they developed — and went to a few out of 4 Japanese Convention [finals].

“Now it is on them. Now they’re the celebs. They usually’ve acquired the massive contracts. They usually acquired the All-Star nods. So the microscope is on them.”

Kemba Walker is a kind of veteran All-Stars. Coming off a profession yr in Charlotte, Boston signed him to a four-year, $141 million deal earlier than final season. He put up stable numbers and took some warmth off Brown and Tatum.

This yr, a knee harm has restricted him to 16 video games. His scoring common is his worst in 5 years and he is taking pictures simply 37.5% from the ground. The Celtics held him out of Wednesday’s sport to keep away from a back-to-back, and Boston acquired throttled.

Like he did final week, Ainge is saying that the problems with the Celtics are on him greater than his younger stars or coach Brad Stevens.

“It is a me drawback,” Ainge mentioned. “I am saying that I like my two younger guys, they don’t seem to be good, they usually’re studying, and this adversity is a part of their development and improvement — not deliberately, it is simply the character of the beast.”

However Ainge mentioned he isn’t making an attempt to make excuses.

“We’re enjoying terribly,” he mentioned. “We do not have a adequate group — for my part.”

He added that he isn’t seeking to make a change for change’s sake, “however I’m seeking to do one thing that can make a distinction on our group.”

The Celtics’ first likelihood to get again on monitor comes Friday at residence towards a struggling Pacers group. Then it is the resurgent Wizards on the town Sunday earlier than video games towards the Clippers, Raptors and Nets.

Bradley Beal, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, Kyrie Irving — the Celtics will face loads of All-Stars and can rapidly discover out if their duo measures up.

“I believe they each maintain themselves accountable,” Ainge mentioned of Brown and Tatum. “You are speaking about two hardworking youngsters which can be making an attempt to get higher. And it is a very irritating time for them.”

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