Boston Celtics point guard Terry Rozier said the team's roster is "too talented," and the necessary adjustments to accommodate all of the star power caused the team to perform below expectations during the first half of the 2018-19 NBA season.
With the Celtics riding a three-game losing streak that dropped their record to 25-18, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports provided comments from Rozier on Tuesday.
"I don't think we've all been on a team like this," he said. "Young guys who can play, guys who did things in their career, the group that was together last year, then you bring Kyrie [Irving] and [Gordon] Hayward back, it's a lot with it."
Boston posted the Eastern Conference's second-best record last season at 55-27 despite Hayward playing just five minutes in the opener before suffering a gruesome leg injury and Irving's season ending in March after undergoing a pair of knee surgeries.
The Celtics still advanced to the Conference Finals and forced the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers to a seventh game thanks to strong play by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Rozier.
So expectations were unsurprisingly sky high with Irving and Hayward returning to join a roster with those rising stars as well as veterans like Al Horford and Marcus Morris.
"It's tough to win four straight and lose [three] straight," Morris told Goodwill. "I would be lying if I said we knew our identity because the identity of a good team don't do that. [Good teams] don't take steps back, being on the road or at home. Still searching, I guess."
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Boston has been seemingly been stuck in neutral for most of the campaign leading to questions about whether a roster shake-up is necessary.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens recently told reporters why he's hopeful the current group can eventually get back on track, though:
"You always have high expectations for your group. Last year, they may not have been what everybody else on the outside thought, once we had those injuries, but within the walls, we were super disappointed we didn't win that last game to go to the Finals. Ultimately it's about how you play and how you come together. How you do things together. It's about how you empower each other. It's about playing your best basketball. It takes a lot of teams a long time to get there. Some teams never get there. We'll see if this team does, from a consistent basis. But, we've shown that we have a chance, so that's good."
Boston gets another litmus test Wednesday night when they take on the NBA-leading Toronto Raptors and attempt to end their losing skid.