Five takeaways from the Celtics' 103-101 loss to the Magic with BSJ insight and analysis:
1. Kyrie Irving is frustrated with the C’s inexperience: The Celtics had this game in hand on a couple of occasions, but some lackluster play by the second unit help the visitors blow a 10-point lead in the first half and a 12-point lead in the second half on the way to the 103-101 defeat. With a clear discrepancy in the plus/minus department between the starters (plus-65) and the bench (minus-73), Irving elected to let some of the young guys have it after the game in some pointed comments about the team lacking experience in a lengthy rant.
"Experience," Irving said of what this team is lacking. "It’s the best thing I can say is experience. We’re lacking it and, because of that, we have a lot of learning to do. So we have a lot of ground to make up in that aspect. It gets tough. When it gets hard you’ve got to think. You’ve got to do the right things. You can’t gamble and think that it’s going to be the winning play. You’ve got to be able to play the full 48 minutes, no matter what’s going on, and hold your head high when you make mistakes. When your job is called upon, you’ve got to do it to the best of your ability. You’ve got to come in and make an impact for the minutes that you’re playing out there.”
Irving scored 14 of Boston’s final 16 points as the C’s tried to rally down the stretch from a nine-point fourth quarter deficit before ultimately falling short as Jayson Tatum’s buzzer-beater rimmed out. However, it’s important to look at the big picture here. Between Irving voicing his frustrations on and off the court to the dustup between Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown, tensions are still running high with this group, even after the “team meeting.” They are falling into old ugly habits and it’s costing them valuable games in the standings.