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Aron Baynes on Celtics: ‘I don’t think we built the right habits throughout the season’

Aron Baynes averaged 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds for Boston. The center has a $5.4 million player option for next season that he will need to make a decision on before the end of June.
Aron Baynes averaged 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds for Boston. The center has a $5.4 million player option for next season that he will need to make a decision on before the end of June.(Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

The Celtics remained hopeful throughout their puzzling season that they would find a rhythm before it was too late. Of course, they never did. They won just 49 games and they were ultimately punted out of the playoffs in five games by the Bucks.

Center Aron Baynes on Thursday said it was an “unfulfilling” season, and that the Celtics “just didn’t play as a team.” That was evident throughout the year, but it is a bit louder when one of the core players openly states it.

“We all know we need to be able to play as a team from the get-go and build those habits night in and night out,” Baynes said after taking part in a carnival for more than 2,000 high-achieving Boston public middle school students at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. “I don’t think we built the right habits throughout the season. Everyone kind of focused on the playoffs and there was a lot of talk about when we get there we’ll be right, we’ll be able to play.

“But you can’t just flick a switch and play the right way. You need to set it up throughout the regular season. You need to go out there and do it as a team and grind out a routine and we weren’t able to do that at any point this season consistently.”

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Baynes said the Celtics showed glimpses of what they were capable of this year.

“But night in and night out it wasn’t the norm for us,” he said. “So it’s about focusing on that and whatever we can do to try and build that earlier and sooner. We started playing well once the playoffs did come but we need that focus, that playoff mentality a lot sooner.”

Baynes averaged 5.6 points and 4.7 rebounds for Boston. The Celtics outscored opponents by 7.3 points per 100 possession when Baynes was on the floor, the top mark among Boston’s regular rotation players.

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Baynes, 32, has a $5.4 million player option for next season that he will need to make a decision on before the end of June. He said Thursday that he had not thought much about the decision yet, but made it clear he would like to have a good idea about his role moving forward.

“I know my heart’s still here in Boston,” he said. “I love Boston. It’s been great to my family. There’s no better place to play than TD Garden during the playoffs or when you’re in the middle of a comeback. So if I’m thinking of that, I know where I want to be. But at the same time I’ve got to talk with Danny [Ainge], I’ve got to talk to Brad [Stevens] and see what their thoughts are as well. I want to be in the right situation. In the NBA everyone always wants to be able to contribute and help the team that they’re on and I’m no different.”

More Celtics coverage:

■  So what happened to Kyrie Irving? And what happens now?

■  The Celtics have roster issues to deal with. Here’s a closer look


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.