Brad Stevens: Celtics Have 'A Myriad of Issues' After Loss vs. Knicks

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 22, 2018

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 21:Daniel Theis #27 of the Boston Celtics gets his shot blocked by Noah Vonleh #32 of the New York Knicks during a game at TD Garden on November 21, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
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Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after his team's 117-109 home loss to the 5-14 New York Knicks on Wednesday that "we have a myriad of issues we have to fix."

The C's, who have now dropped seven of their last 10 games, fell behind by 26 points in the second quarter before the eventual eight-point loss. The Knicks had dropped six consecutive games and eight of their last nine prior to their Wednesday win.

Stevens' previous remark wasn't his only blunt assessment:

A. Sherrod Blakely @ASherrodblakely

The #Celtics Brad Stevens openly questions what many of us are thinking right now... "I just don't know if we're that good," Stevens said. "We're being outplayed."

Celtics Blog was also quite direct:

CelticsBlog @celticsblog

I'm the biggest optimist you'll find and I'm all out of it right now. Blame everyone. We stink.

Those are fair comments after watching Wednesday's game. The Celtics looked lethargic and a step slower than the Knicks, as they notably had no answer stopping explosive New York guard Trey Burke. The ex-Michigan star scored 29 points off the bench and added 11 assists and six rebounds.

The Knicks also dished 25 assists as a team, which is unusual considering they were dead last in that stat before Wednesday.

Overall, Boston may be the NBA's most disappointing team given its lofty preseason expectations. Of note, OddsShark listed the Celtics as the clear favorites to win the Eastern Conference in mid-October.

Winning the conference title seems like a pipe dream at the moment, as Boston has some significant work to do to even get a top-four playoff seed.

Ultimately, the 9-9 Celtics fell to .500 on Wednesday against a rebuilding team with no intentions on seriously contending this season. The alarm bells have now gone off if they hadn't already.

Aside from the Knicks matchup, Boston's defense hasn't been a problem, with the team entering Wednesday as the league leader in defensive efficiency, per ESPN.com.

The offense is a significant work in progress, however, as Boston was tied for 23rd in efficiency entering the night. Not only did Boston rank fourth-to-last in field-goal percentage, but the C's were tied for last in points per shot.

While Boston still has 64 regular-season games left, the top of the Eastern Conference looks formidable, with the Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers all looking far better than Boston. The C's need to figure things out quickly before the divide between them and the East's top three becomes even greater.