Fatigue Dooms C's After Seven Straight Days

ORLANDO – A simple answer told the entire story for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

“When was the last time you played four games in four days?” one reporter asked Kelly Olynyk.

Olynyk’s response?

Kelly Olynyk boxes out

The Celtics competed against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, but fatigue prevented them from grabbing a win.
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

“I don’t even know, to tell you the truth.”

That’s where the Celtics are as a team right now. The players are charting territory they haven’t touched in years. Wednesday marked the seventh consecutive day that the team had either practiced or played a game.

The odyssey began on Thursday, which was the first of three consecutive practice days. To the players, those three practice days were like studying for final exams. They were being crammed with new offensive and defensive schemes that they need to master in order to have a shot in the NBA.

Sunday marked the first of four straight game days for the C’s. Three of the team’s four games have been decided by seven points or less, meaning each was taxing on the body and the mind.

On Wednesday, it finally caught up to this group. They weren’t themselves, as head coach Jay Larranaga noted following the contest.

“I thought some guys were definitely tired today,” said Larranaga. “But you can be tired and still compete. I thought we were tired and didn’t compete for the whole time. We had our stretches, but I thought Houston did a better job of really giving an all-out effort for the entire game.”

That’s atypical of this Celtics team. Their hallmark over the first three days was hard-nosed defense and constant hustle. It just wasn’t there on Wednesday, as Boston’s players were shaky in all aspects of the game.

Said Kelly Olynyk, “There was definitely a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of mental fatigue as well.”

The Celtics weren't able to get over that hump on Wednesday, but they’re over the hump of their week. Their four-game tournament schedule is complete. Now they can enjoy a little R&R time on Thursday.

“We had decided no matter what that after all the practices – I mean they’ve gone for whatever, seven, eight days in a row – tomorrow is a rest day,” Larranaga said. “Hopefully a rest day. It’s an off day.”

While the C’s enjoy a complete off day on Thursday, the Orlando Pro Summer League will complete its tournament play at Amway Arena. The result of those games will determine the seeding for Friday’s Championship Day.

Boston’s players will be eager to learn of their next opponent, but until then, it’s time to kick back and relax in Orlando.

“Looking forward to it,” Olynyk said with a smile. “Definitely.”