One demoralizing sequence encapsulated the Celtics’ ugly and bizarre flame-out from the playoffs

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celtics_reboundsvia TNT/NBAvia TNT/NBA

  • The Boston Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks with a Game 5 loss on Wednesday.
  • The team did not seem to play with the necessary urgency throughout the game, and that lack of fight was encapsulated in one sequence where they gave up four straight offensive rebounds to the Bucks.
  • The Celtics struggled with consistency and chemistry, both on the court and off of it, all year, and now the team heads into an offseason of great uncertainty.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Boston Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs in ugly fashion on Wednesday after a 116-91 Game 5 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

One particular sequence from Game 5 seemed to capture the overall essence of this disappointing Celtics season, as the team now heads into an offseason filled with uncertainty.

Throughout Game 5, the Celtics didn’t seem to play with the urgency necessary to keep their season alive. That was never more evident than at the end of the third quarter, when they gave up four straight offensive rebounds to the Bucks.

Each time a shot went up, several Celtics stood around, watching the ball, seemingly expecting another player to get it. Instead, it was the Bucks, holding a 3-1 series lead, out-hustling and out-muscling the Celtics to the ball. Sure, there were bad bounces, but the lack of fight was alarming.

Watch the sequence below:

Jayson Tatum is a Celtics player worth watching on that possession, as he often stood and watched the action. After the foul that stopped the play, he was subbed out by head coach Brad Stevens.

This season simply never went as planned for the Celtics. Their immense talent, whole again after Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward missed last year’s postseason run with injuries, never coalesced.

Read more: The Celtics waited all year for the playoffs, and now they’re failing in spectacular fashion

There are basketball reasons it didn’t work out. Young players like Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier, who thrived in bigger roles last year, were reduced to smaller roles and struggled with the downgrade. Hayward clearly needed more time to rehab from his ugly ankle injury. It could take more than one season, if he ever returns to All-Star form at all.

But the team also turned on itself this year, with Irving frequently questioning his younger teammates, and veterans questioning the team’s fight and spirit. It seemed as if there were real attempts by all parties to fix these things, but it was clear something was askew. The team never clicked for extended stretches this year. As a result, their season is over in early May instead of mid-June.



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