Wallace critical of Celtics' effort in preseason

Wallace critical of Celtics' effort in preseason
October 20, 2013, 10:30 pm
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MONTREAL — There was no anger or frustration in Gerald Wallace's voice as he talked about the Boston Celtics' 104-89 loss to Minnesota.

But there's no mistaking that Wallace is not happy with what he has seen of late in terms of the effort - or lack of effort - from the Celtics.

"Guys are out there being selfish, and their opponents are playing with effort, giving their all regardless of how the night is going," said Wallace who led the Celtics with 16 points. "Tonight we ran into another team that wanted the game more than we did. And they came and played like it. We had some good spurts, but when it came down to it they were determined to win the game and we (weren't)."

Boston forward Jeff Green agreed.

"They just wanted it more than us, plain and simple," said Green who had 12 points off the Celtics bench. "We can't allow teams to play harder than us."

But they have for the majority of the preseason, which was at first seen as just part of the growing pains of having such a young team with so many new faces.

However, seven preseason games into this and effort remains a hot-button issue for this team.

And Wallace, whose effort has often been praised by Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, doesn't believe that him setting an example with his play is enough for his teammates to play harder.

"Veteran, rookie, whatever you want to call it. I was always taught, you can't teach effort," Wallace said. "And you can't teach somebody how to give effort. They either got it or they don't."

Wallace added, "We're professionals. So our main thing is, you should go out every night and want to win. It shouldn't be a question of the effort. You're going to miss shots. You're going to turn the ball over. Things aren't going to go your way. But it shouldn't be because you're not playing hard, you're not giving your all."

Because the Celtics are still in the preseason, there's a chance that some players are viewing these games from that perspective with the mindset being to "flip a switch" and play harder when the regular season arrives.

"We need to bring it now," Green said. "Preseason or not . . . we gotta come ready to play. We can't come into this thinking . . . we can half-ass it. We have to be ready to play because teams are getting geared up for the regular season."

Said Wallace: "We got what, one more preseason game before this thing really starts up? So if guys think they can wait until the Toronto game (on Oct. 30) and turn the switch on, it's not that easy in this league. You have to start building yourself up, get some momentum going into it. We're not doing that right now."