Brad Stevens on Celtics’ struggles: 'I just don't know that we're that good'

Brad Stevens is disappointed with the Celtics’ start.

Boston was expected to be one of the best teams in the NBA entering the season, but it has registered just a 9-9 record so far in 2018-19. Stevens, the sixth-year Celtics’ coach, opened up about his team’s struggles when he met with reporters Wednesday following a loss to the lowly Knicks.

“I just don’t know that we’re that good. Maybe it’s not a wakeup call if you keep getting beat,” Stevens said (via NBC Sports Boston). “We have to play better. It’s not because we’re not capable of being good. It’s not because we weren’t good at one time in our lives. It’s you’re good if you play good and the results are speaking for themselves.”

The Celtics finished 2017-18 with a 55-27 record and advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they fell to the Cavaliers in seven games.

Stevens said the team isn’t playing with the same energy level this season.

“It’s not one guy. It’s not two guys. It’s all of us,” he added. “We’re not playing with the same personality we played with last year. That’s the easiest way to describe it. And then the 50,000 issues that are below that, we have to tackle one at a time.”

Boston has dropped its last three games and five of its last seven. Stevens said there’s no guarantee the team will “be able to turn it around.”

“The reality is you have to grind it out, you have to work and you have to be able to weather all this other stuff that’s going along with it,” Stevens said. “The storm is part of a job. And I’m looking forward to getting a chance to really dig in, and hopefully we can weather it.”

The Celtics will return to the court when they face the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday.