The 2018-2019 Boston Celtics are different and not in a good way.
The Celtics’ season ended on Wednesday night when the Bucks handed them their fourth straight loss, finally putting Boston out of its misery.
Celtics fans and myself included were confused when we saw this team sweep the Indiana Pacers then go on to get dismantled by the Bucks. But if we look back at the entire season, we shouldn’t have expected anything else.
This season consisted of 90 percent disappointment and 10 percent glimpses of what could have been. And for some reason, we all believed the playoffs would be different. Maybe they would get things together when their backs were against the wall, when they had the choice to either come together or go home. But what we later found out is that they decided going home was the better option.
It has been years since the Celtics went from feisty underdogs to legitimate title contenders, and this was supposed to be the year Danny Ainge’s flawless rebuild came to fruition. So why did Boston not fall in love with this team? Was it as simple as not living up to expectations? Or was it something else?
Without a doubt, the underwhelming season played its part in the Celtics’ fan base not getting behind the team, but Boston embraces a certain type of athlete, or better yet, rejects a certain type of athlete. If a player comes in and tries to be disingenuous or dramatic, regardless of their individual talent, Boston will never be fully behind them.
However, It does seem strange a team that features players like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Aron Baynes, and Marcus Morris Sr., all players who resonate so strongly with Celtics fans would all be a part of a team so miserable to watch, but here we are. Kyrie Irving has been the embodiment of everything Boston fans hate but his talent is undeniable so they tried their best to force something that simply didn’t fit.
For all the years I have watched Celtics basketball I have never seen a team play with less heart than this one. To a franchise with such a rich history, it almost seemed insulting to past players, teams, and fans to put on a display like this.
One of the most frustrating parts is, we have seen all of these athletes play with the heart fans are starving for. But that happens to be the story of this season – being less than the sum of their parts. And perhaps the worst part is, for the first time, they made Celtics basketball not fun.