After last nights disappointing loss to the Orlando Magic, Jae Crowder had some criticisms of his team and coaching staff. Crowder is never shy in putting his opinions out there, and his comments last night are the first signs of a crack with players being frustrated with the lack of a set rotation.
We all knew that a team that goes 10-12 players deep on any given night would have issues with lineups, rotations, and certainly playing time. Especially when players 4 through 10 don't have much for the coaching staff to differentiate them from one another.
It is not an easy job for Brad Stevens and his crew, and it takes a special group of players to be able to go through that without any dissension.
Jae Crowder: "We haven’t built our identity yet as a unit. Coaching staff hasn’t figured it out yet. We don’t have set rotations."
Do Crowder's comments mean that is necessarily the case here? I don't think so. It certainly isn't ideal for players to be telling the media how they need to be coached differently, but Crowder is the heartbeat of that locker room, and if he thinks something is a problem he won't hesitate to state it.
It doesn't mean that the locker room is up in arms about it, but it probably does mean it's something more players than just him have mentioned. Also, Crowder wasn't exactly calling out the coaching staff, in his next breath he mentioned the patience it takes, and that they are most likely in pursuit of the same thing.
Crowder: "We all want that. At the same time, (coaches are) trying to figure it out as well and so we’ve got to be patient with those guys."
It seemed for a few games that the Celtics had indeed established an identity. Fast pace of play, a smothering defense that creates turnovers, and an advantage over nearly every opponent in players 5-10 on the roster. The starters, whoever they may be, needed to hold their own against opposing starting 5's, and our bench needed to beat their bench.
If inconsistency is an issue, and the players are feeling that their playing time or roles have been inconsistent, there could definitely be a correlation. The flip side to having consistency in the rotations is that there will be a few players who just flat out don't get minutes. A more consistent approach with roles and rotations may yield a more consistent style of play.
Maybe that is the direction the Celtics should be heading, and if the players want it great. Some of them better be careful what they wish for, because inevitably some will be on the outside looking in.