Paul Pierce cites lack of mental toughness for Celtics' struggles

USA TODAY Sports

With the Celtics mired in a four-game losing streak, veteran leader Paul Pierce said the team does not currently have the proper mental toughness to succeed.

The Boston Celtics' losing streak extended to four on Tuesday night after a 95-90 defeat at the hands of Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics are looking for answers to their recent woes, and Paul Pierce told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe that the team is lacking in the mental toughness department:

"I think we got pieces here," the Celtics captain said. "We just got to come together. We got to figure this thing out. Can't get discouraged. I think that's the one thing this team lacks, that mental toughness, man. When we lose our confidence, I've never been on teams like that. We got to stay together, we got to play with confidence."

Boston was in a great position to beat Cleveland in the fourth quarter, but the C's displayed that lack of mental toughness Pierce talked about, falling apart down the stretch. The veteran forward was a big part of that, going just 1-of-8 in the fourth and 3-of-15 in the game.

Pierce's comments came shortly after head coach Doc Rivers talked about how the Celtics might "get some guys out of here" if things did not improve soon. Jeff Clark over at CelticsBlog thinks some personnel changes may be on the horizon, although, he is not sure what kind. Pierce and Rajon Rondo have been discussed in trade talks before, so perhaps general manager Danny Ainge revisits those.

It is worth noting, however, that Boston got off to a really slow start last season before coming on strong and nearly taking out the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. So while the Celtics have struggled at times this year, especially offensively, there's still time to turn this thing around.

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