After a strong start to the season, the Boston Celtics have lost 15 of 17 games.

Danny Ainge has maintained that the franchise would focus on their long-term outlook this season.

“The losing is not as hard to take as what I don’t like to see happen is the losing of one’s spirit and passion for the game,” Ainge said when asked about the recent losing. “And the game is easy to play when you’re winning and you don’t even have to put forth your best effort every night because your team is so talented. But when the losing causes people to lose their spirit, that’s really hard. That’s a tough thing to take. Some of the best players, that’s happened to. But so far I like watching our team play. I enjoy it. I enjoy the competitive fire they have, I like that fact there’s some that have maintained the spirit of winning and they prepare to win and continue to prepare to get better.”

Ainge didn’t offer optimism about discovering the next franchise-changing player.

“We have a lot of options and a lot of assets to maneuver within the draft itself. Yes, the draft is exciting, but I’m not really thinking that much about the draft and yet every day I’m watching all the players that are in the draft, so I guess indirectly I am,” he said.

“We’ve done some good things and not-so good things and learned from some of our mistakes. There’s always risks when you’re making deals and most deals benefit both teams based on needs and short-term and long-term objectives, but it’s not easy to find partners that sort of fill those. I respect all the teams in the league and there’s only a certain amount of really good players in the league.

“There’s only a certain amount of difference-makers.”