Shaughnessy: Celtics “not as good as they think they are”

The Celtics have more talent than the Heat, Dan Shaughnessy says, but their “AAU warrior culture” is holding them back

The DA Show
September 25, 2020 - 10:58 am

The Boston Celtics trail the Miami Heat 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, and from a talent standpoint, it’s difficult to understand why.

“I think they have more talent,” Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy said of the Celtics on The DA Show. “I love the Heat. I love the way the Heat play. Hats off to Pat Riley for assembling this team, and I think they’re very worthy. They deserve it.”

Boston, meanwhile, started 6-0 in the playoffs but has lost six of its last nine games. All six losses have come by seven points or fewer. Four have come by three points or fewer. Two have come in overtime.

“They’re not as good as they think they are,” Shaughnessy said. “The young stars – [Jaylen] Brown, [Jayson] Tatum, [Marcus] Smart – there’s a lot of that AAU warrior culture going on there, and I think guys just think they’ve accomplished something when they haven’t. Now they have their backs against it.”

Game 5 is Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

“I can see them winning tonight,” Shaughnessy said. “I can. If they don’t, it’s a disgrace, and we’ll crush them accordingly.”

Brad Stevens, meanwhile, could lose the conference finals for the third time in the last four seasons.

“He gets a free pass, and I kind of understand it because I think he’s a good coach,” Shaughnessy said. “I think it’s always hard for a guy who hasn’t played in the league to get [players’] attention, but [Erik] Spoelstra has done the job. He’s been there 12 years now. You do see it. But it’s easier if you’re Doc Rivers or Steve Kerr. I just think it’s harder [for Stevens]. There’s no way that Stevens is teaching them to play hero ball, iso ball, at the end of Games 1 and 2. That’s not what he’s drawing up over there. But then getting them to do it, that’s the charge of the coach as well.”