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Danny Ainge takes responsibility for struggles

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...and hints that it may be time to make some changes.

Boston Celtics Practice Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Boston Globe has an interesting interview with Danny Ainge this morning.

In it he tries to deflect the blame game from falling on Brad Stevens and the coaching staff. Instead he takes the full weight of responsibility upon his own shoulders.

What about you, Danny? Is it time to start ripping the president of basketball operations?

“Sure!” he said. “We’re not playing with the passion that we need. I think that’s on the players. And the players on the team are on me.

“There are things I could have done better, but I’m not going to mention names. I’ll take this responsibility. This is a team that was put together by me, and we’re not playing with enough consistency and urgency, and it’s my job to look to see what we can do to improve the team, but that’s always much harder than improving from within.”

That’s pretty predictable from him for multiple reasons. For one thing, he’s a big public supporter of Brad Stevens. For another, he can afford to be humble and self deprecating because he has a whole lot of job security. However, he’s also a fierce competitor, so he’s not going to be happy with a .500 ballclub.

Interestingly enough there are notes that changes may be on the way.

Are changes afoot?

“Just changing faces doesn’t always change things,” Ainge said, “but it may have to come to that.”

Ainge goes on to preach patience and of course he’s never going to advocate for a panic move. However, just hinting that change might need to be made for change sake is a big admission from him.

The Celtics obviously have a huge trade exception burning a hole in their pockets and more and more teams around the league are starting to admit that they should be sellers at the deadline. In addition, the East is still relatively wide open at the moment and the clock is already ticking on this first window with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Bottom line: All signs point to a trade in the next month. Will something happen sooner than later? Will Ainge feel the urgency to push more chips into the table even if it isn’t what he would consider “good value?” Time will tell.