The Boston Celtics have quietly lost three straight games. I only use the term “quietly” because the nation’s attention has been diverted elsewhere. In the NBA, the bigger story is the Cleveland Cavaliers who are 3-7 in their last 10 and facing questions about their coach’s job security. In the Boston area, a lot of folks are too busy following the Patriots latest Super Bowl appearance to worry overmuch about the Celtics.
Also, it helps to keep things firmly rooted in context. Sure, the team has lost three straight, but that immediately follows a 7 game winning streak and they still lead the East by 2 games.
So you can excuse Kyrie Irving if he seems a little nonchalant about the losing streak. If anything, he’s eager to spin it as a good learning experience.
Kyrie Irving on slumping Celtics: "There’s a lot more adversity down the road and we got to be able to weather the storm no matter what. ... We need to hit something like this in order for us to grow. It’s part of the game." pic.twitter.com/ZQv4hBoROr— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) January 21, 2018
Coach Brad Stevens might have a few more critical words to say, and I’m sure he’ll use this humbling stretch to teach some pointed lessons. But I think he’s probably going to be preaching a similar message to Kyrie’s. Never let the down times get you too down and never let the highs get you too high.
Experience, analysis, evaluation, preparation, repeat.
Next up is a West coast swing that features back-to-back games in Los Angeles (Lakers then Clippers on ESPN) and a game on ABC in primetime against the defending champ Warriors. We’ll learn a lot about how the team adjusts to the lessons learned this past week and how much they step up to the challenge ahead of them.