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Another day, another tough loss for the Celtics (links/quotes)

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Losses keep piling up on the Boston Celtics.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Deja vu all over again. What else can you say about another loss? Kyrie Irving didn’t have much to say either. via NBC Boston

The first question was, “How tough was that one?”

Irving’s response?

“It was tough.”

He was then asked about the team’s first half.

“We just didn’t play well,” Irving said.

Another question centered around whether he had gone through something similar to what he’s experiencing now, which was soon followed by an affirmative nod from Irving.

So what’s the answer to figuring things out? Or as Tim Bontemps ponders, will they?

That same search for answers for Boston’s bizarre season has come from all corners of the NBA over the course of the past few months. As the preseason favorites to emerge from the East and reach the NBA Finals have stumbled time and again, rival scouts and executives have asked one question over and over again: What’s wrong with those guys?

The assumption has always been that in time, the Celtics would figure it out. After all, the NBA is a league based on talent more than anything. And the Celtics have plenty of that at their disposal. But as they continue to listlessly plod through the final few weeks of the regular season, there is another question that has begun to linger on everyone’s lips: Will they ever get this figured out?

Judging by the way things are going, it’s hard to argue they will.

There are some bright spots. Marcus Smart deserves any praise an accolades he gets. via MassLive

“Five years in now, I really hope Marcus finally gets recognized as an All-Defensive team member. We thought ever since he got here that he’s one of the best defenders in the league. I’m sure if you took a poll of players around the league that -- even though they might be annoyed by him some time -- they would all say that he is, right? Because he’s always into people, he’s physical, he’s tough, he’s got a motor, he’s got great hands. He should be on that team. I hope he gets honored with that.”

Jaylen Brown played well again and Gordon Hayward showed a few brief flashes. The 2nd half was a good effort in general, but the first half created too large a hole to dig out of.

Now the Celtics head out on the road on a stretch that could make or ...bury them completely. via the Herald

“You get to have some meals together. There’s more time off the court that you can engage with each other, and we can do that. But ultimately, I’ve been on teams where everybody was together all the time and they were the closest of friends and they were really good, and I’ve been on teams where they didn’t really hang out much and they competed like hell together. The bottom line is how you compete together. It’s not about anything else when you’re talking about judging a team’s success or not. We have to compete better together. We have to play better. We’re all responsible for it. We’re playing good teams. We just have to be better.”