It was on Dec. 21 following a 120-107 loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks that the Boston Celtics – losers of three in a row at the time – elected to hold a team meeting in the locker room to address issues plaguing them.
The Celtics have been on a roll since then, leaving All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving satisfied with the impact that meeting had on he and his teammates.
“We could pinpoint a lot of turning points,” Irving said following Boston’s blowout win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “We just want to build that chemistry first. Just getting with one another, really put everything out there and then move on from that point.
“At that point, playing against Milwaukee, we weren’t at rock bottom, but we needed to address some s— in this locker room. It’s just good to get stuff out in the air. As grown men and guys that have expectations for themselves, it was good to hear guys talk about what they wanted for themselves and what they wanted for this team.”
Boston has gone 7-2 over its last nine games since falling to the Bucks, and finds itself in the midst of a four-game winning streak that’s improved its overall record to 25-15.
Irving scored just 12 points on nine shot attempts against Indiana, which was his third-lowest point total of the campaign. He admitted after the aforementioned meeting that he needed to focus less on his own offense and prioritize the success of the team as a whole.
“We’re making shots and we’re continuing to make each other better and making those plays that we weren’t making at the beginning of the season of just trusting one another in specific positions in our offense,” Irving added. “At this point, I feel like we’re very comfortable in what we’re running, and guys being in specific spots, and opportunities that we can take advantage of, and passes being delivered on time, and just caring about the pass and caring about your teammate making a shot.
“So everything we talked about at the beginning of the season, I feel like it’s translating now as we continue to get to know one another. Meat of the season right now and you can tell that our team is just feeling really good being around each other. And it’s totally different in terms of how we feel out there. It’s just really positive. And when I don’t have to go out there and score 30 it’s cool with me. I probably won’t have to score 30 for us until we play one of the best teams in the league — or, if any — until the playoffs. So I’m happy about that.”
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