Ime Udoka-Boston Celtics
Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Boston Celtics were unable to add to their winning streak vs. the Wizards, and head coach Ime Udoka called out his team effort on Wednesday.

Unlike Boston’s home opener when first-year coach Ime Udoka said the Celtics got ”punked” after a 32-point loss to Toronto, Boston rallied after falling behind by 15 points midway into the third quarter.

(via masslive.com):

“We tried to make the home run plays when we got back in it,” Udoka said of Boston’s effort “It happened several times, getting to one or three points and then careless turnover or gamble on defense, and so I called a quick timeout in the third quarter and said ‘do what got you here, play the way you did, trust your teammates.’

We didn’t move the ball well in the second half. We had 14 assists at halftime and finished with 18, so it’s our lowest of the year. I think guys tried to do it a little bit on their own, and I said ‘play together, we know we can get the open looks, and don’t try to do it all yourself. Do what got you here.’”

The Celtics are far away from the only team struggling at the start of the season, with title-favorites like Nets, Suns, and Lakers being also out of sorts.

However, the slow starts and inconsistent effort have been a common theme for this core group since last season. Boston is in the bottom-third in points from the bench.

In addition, they are also in the bottom third of the league in turnovers, averaging 16.0 through five games in the 2021-22 regular season.

“There’s some things that we need to address and just continue to make sure that we don’t fall into any bad habits or anything.

So, I’m looking forward to our practice on Friday, and making sure that we start the right way there and that we build and go from there,” Al Horford said after Wednesday’s loss.

The Celtics have no time to lose going forward, after dropping their third contest in five games, as they face the Washington Wizards again on Friday.