The 2018-19 Celtics squad was absolutely loaded with talent and included the likes of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Marcus Morris, but they ended up being one of the most underachieving Boston teams in recent history.
Hayward recently spoke about the issues that plauged the team during that lost season.
“In my eyes, it was just, we all had too many agendas, and the agenda to win the whole thing was not the main one,” Hayward told Paul George on Podcast P With Paul George. “Not to blame anyone either because I think it was all human nature.”
He also spoke about how everyone had their own personal goals, rather than an overarching team goal.
“I mean, I’m coming back from, the last season I played, I was an All-Star, so I’m trying to prove that I’m still an All-Star,” Hayward continued. “Kyrie was hurt the year before, didn’t miss the playoffs. So he’s trying to prove this is still his team. Then you’ve got (Jayson Tatum) and Jaylen (Brown) and Terry (Rozier) coming off where they’re all starting, make it to the Eastern Conference Finals a year before. They’re all trying to prove, like, ‘We’ve arrived.’”
Another problem Hayward noted was that they were too many scorers on the Celtics team.
“We had probably eight players who had career highs over 40, who were all arguably in their prime,” Hayward said. “The other problem is there were too many of us in the exact same position. We all needed the ball. We all rocked with the ball, we all needed the ball.”
The team managed to go 49-33 during the regular season and showed promise in the post, after sweeping the Pacers in the first round.
But things took a turn for the worst after Boston suffered an embarrassing five-game loss to the Bucks in the Eastern semifinals.
It didn’t take long for players to abandon ship, since Irving went to Brooklyn over the Summer, Horford went to Philadelphia and Hayward himself left the following season after opting out.