"It's a culture thing you've got to build every single day". Boston's players and coach Brad Stevens have been forthcoming this year: they are not as good as they think they are.
Irving is not happy about where the team is and knows how they can get better.
"We have a long way to go, " said Stevens.
Former lottery pick Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris were caught on a fan's video getting into each other's faces during a Celtics timeout in the second quarter. They have depth at forward with Hayward and Jayson Tatum. "And if they think it is hard now, what do they think it will be like when we're trying to get to the finals?"
The Celtics are 25-17 this season - having been 32-10 at the same stage in the previous campaign - after losing 105-103 to the Orlando Magic on Saturday. "Heck, I remember those things happening to Rondo and Perk".
"So we have a lot of ground to make up in that aspect". "We all got called out as players by teammates, and we did our share of calling out teammates when things weren't going right".
The process has not gone as smoothly as everyone thought, and a team picked to win the East has four teams ahead of it midway through the season. "I feel as though I'm one of the leaders on this team so if I have an engagement with any of my teammates, we all know that it's basketball related and it goes nothing past the court". After this road trip ends on Monday night in Brooklyn, the Celtics play 11 of the next 15 games over 29 days before the All-Star break at TD Garden, where they are 15-5.
"If you don't humble yourself, the world has a way of humbling it for you, " said Marcus Smart.