Boston Celtics

By Matt McCarthy,

For the Boston Celtics, there’s nowhere left to hide.

For months, the Patriots dominated the sports landscape in Boston, but now that the confetti has been swept off Boylston Street and another Lombardi trophy has found its way to Foxboro, the attention shifts elsewhere.

The eyes of Boston are now squarely on the Celtics, and it is an ugly sight.

The Patriots are no longer around to shield the Celtics from the criticism they deserve. There’s no escaping our scorn. The Celtics are a disaster, and the light of day is about to shine on this mess.

The Celtics were supposed to challenge for a championship, but now they are fighting just to have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

They were supposed to be able to win games as a unit, taking advantage of depth and talent that few teams around the NBA can match. Instead, they have been plagued by selfish play and in-fighting all season long.

The Celtics are a fractured team. They are broken, and it’s fair to wonder if they can be fixed at this point.

The last three months have been nothing but a parade of Celtics players ripping their teammates publicly. Add Marcus Morris to the list.

He’s right. There’s no attitude, there’s no toughness, but there is sure an unwillingness to play as a team.

This team is no fun.

Saturday’s loss to the Clippers was the low point of the season and was the worst moment of the Brad Stevens era. Blowing a 28-point lead is inexcusable, losing by 11 points after leading by 28 is indefensible.

The Celtics quit. They flat out quit.

Stevens appears in over his head. Through 56 games, he hasn’t been able to get the most out of his players. He hasn’t come close, to be honest. Stevens can’t get them to play as a team, he can’t get them to focus, and he can’t get them to play hard for 48 minutes.

Can Stevens actually coach a team with talent or can he only get a response from a bunch of try-hard, effort players? We know he can manage out-of-bounds plays, but it doesn’t look like he can manage a locker room with good players and big egos.

Kyrie Irving keeps criticizing his young teammates. The young guys keep pushing back against Kyrie. Terry Rozier has made it no secret that he wants to start.

Meanwhile, Al Horford, the alleged veteran leader of the Celtics, is nowhere to be found.

Morris and Jaylen Brown got into a shoving match in Phoenix. Marcus Smart said his teammates were playing like “bunch of punks” in November. The Celtics had a team meeting in December that is now as infamous as it was worthless.

Kyrie might not even be here after July 1. He doesn’t owe anybody (crap), remember?

What a mess.

So here we are on the first Monday in months without a Patriots game to talk about. The Bruins are competitive and the World Series champion Boston Red Sox report to Fort Myers this week, but make no mistake about it: there’s only sports story in this town at the moment, and that story is the calamitous Celtics.

There’s no hiding from the attention now.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.