Adrian Wojnarowski reports from Boston on the latest, including the players-only meeting held prior to the team's match against the Magic. (1:03).
Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the Boston Celtics held a players-only meeting prior to Wednesday's 92–79 win over Orlando.
This meeting was held in the aftermath of Boston's Monday fourth-quarter meltdown against the Chicago Bulls. Boston lost 14 to 14 and fell to 2-5 on season. Boston had been up 14 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but dropped to 14 by the end of the fourth. Chicago outscored Boston 39-11 on its own floor.
Marcus Smart, a Celtics guard, stated that Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both young All-Stars, needed to be more efficient with the ball during the postgame media sessions.
Sources told Wojnarowski that the three players discussed Smart's comments and the collapse. Other sources said it was also emotional at times.
After scoring 28 points in Boston's win, Brown stated that "the last few days we've just been focus on Orlando." That was our goal. We wanted to win. That was it. Meeting for teams -- This is a chance to have a conversation with your group and get some communication going. Then, move on.
"At the end, we've all been playing basketball together for a while, especially our core team. When it comes down it all, it's about winning, and that's the topic of the conversation. We've been focusing on Orlando for the last two days. Now we are focusing on Miami.
Smart, who lost Monday's game, said that Tatum and Brown need to be better distributors. He also stated that Tatum needs to do more than just stand in the corner waiting for the ball.
Brown stated after Wednesday's match that Smart's comments were not necessarily helpful.
Brown stated, "Obviously, in the midst trying to win games it's something we probably didn't have." We all communicate with each other. We're constantly trying to win, and I'm open for anything and everything that guys have to share with me and my coaching staff. I am always looking at film to improve myself and to be a better player. It felt great to win today.
Boston made it a point to discuss Tatum and Brown's need for growth as players during the preseason and in the first two weeks. Tatum's assists numbers have dropped this season from 4.3 to 3.0 per game despite him playing more minutes. Brown's has fallen from 3.4 to 2.5 per match.
Boston made it clear that they needed to grow in this area by trading Kemba Walker and a first-round draft pick for Al Horford. Boston was trying to improve its defense and balance its roster. Point guard Dennis Schroder leads the team with 6.4 assists per game. However, Smart has been playing in the back, so he is largely playing on the bench. Tatum and Brown will now have to pass the ball.
Tatum has been struggling to open the season. He shot 39.5 percent from the floor and 27.1 percent from three-point range. These numbers weren't much helped Wednesday against Orlando when Tatum went 4-for-16 from field and 1-for-6 in 3-point range.
Brown stated, "I can do many things better." Talk to Jayson to see if there are ways to motivate guys. Making our teammates better. This is part of being a leader. There is still much to learn and I am actively working towards it. That's my challenge, and that's what I'm focusing all my energy on. Just continue to look at film and learn more so I can help my team members.