BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics finished their four-game, west coast trip winless with a 110-98 loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
That makes it five straight losses for Boston, as they drop to 19-39 on the season — the fourth-worse record in the NBA.
The trade deadline came and went without a move from Danny Ainge, leaving a few players rumored to be heading out-of-town still in a less-than-appealing situation. Is there any fear that this team will lose whatever motivation they have left for the rest of the season?
CSNNE’s Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday, and said that won’t be a problem because of Brad Stevens.
“That doesn’t really happen until maybe the last 10-15 games,” said Gorman. “That’s not to say guys aren’t motivated. Rondo was saying last night all it would take is a five-game win streak to get back into the playoff picture, and in the sorry East that’s true.”
“It’s probably not all that likely, but there is still that hope. I haven’t seen guys giving up hope, and the one guy who hasn’t given up home and remains positive is Brad Stevens. As long as he stays positive, I think guys will continue to play,” said Gorman.
Kris Humphries was one of the players rumored to possibly be heading to a contender, but now finds himself finishing off the final year of his contract on a team in the basement of the league. Will he remain motivated?
“I think he wants to stay around to be honest,” said Gorman. “Boston doesn’t pay attention to the Kardashian stuff like other cities. He hasn’t gotten any grief in the Boston Garden. He’s not going to stay around at $12 million or whatever he is making, but he’s unrestricted so he can sign anywhere, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back here.”
Gorman said there was little energy from the Celtics in Monday night’s loss in Utah, but the team put up a pretty good fight Saturday night in Sacramento. That night, Stevens was ejected for the first time in his career in what could go down as the calmest ejection in NBA history.
“He said nothing to get ejected. Usually you have to swear or use magic words, but he didn’t say anything,” explained Gorman. “In effect what he said when they threw Wallace out of the game, he said ‘if you’re going to throw Wallace out you could have thrown (DeMarcus) Cousins out the last three quarters.’ Marc Davis just looked at him and said ‘you’re outta here.'”
Are the losses starting to wear on Stevens in his first NBA season?
“I was concerned about two or three weeks ago because I thought I was seeing some signs, but they disappeared and, if anything, he’s gotten more upbeat over the last two or three weeks,” said Gorman. “This is all new territory for Brad, with all the loses and games left to play. But he’s getting used to it, and he’s just a relentlessly positive guy. That’s just who he is.”
Gorman also comments on Rajon Rondo remaining in L.A. to celebrate his birthday and not traveling with the team to Sacramento over the weekend: