After blowing a 17-point lead at halftime in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Heat, there were reports of an explosion in the Celtics locker room after the loss.
Marcus Smart and other Celtics players argued in the locker room, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
It is reported that Smart shouted “everyone on this bull на” to his teammates before heading to the bathroom. Washburn also reported that a number of players had been arguing for several minutes and that objects had been thrown.
Kemba Walker downplayed the incident to reporters moments later.
“It was nothing,” Walker said. “It was nothing. I̵
“I’m not talking about that.” – Kemba Walker in the locker room argument after the game # Celtics pic.twitter.com/3acbSRM9aD
– Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 18, 2020
Tatum expanded the team’s feelings a bit more after falling 2-0.
“We’re disappointed,” Tatum said. “It’s a team sport. We should not be happy that we are 0-2. It was nothing [out of the] ordinary. We’re just talking about the game. It’s cool, you have to prepare for the next one. “
“What happens in the locker room has to stay in the locker room,” Tatum later added. “We don’t have to go out here and talk about what we talked about as a team after a win or a loss. That’s why we go into the locker room and talk to each other, whether we win or lose. It is. “
“The boys were emotional after a tough game, a tough loss,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Smart reportedly left the arena soon after and did not speak to the media after Thursday’s loss.
As for what happened in the game itself, the two common questions Stevens, Tatum and Walker face are: “What happened in that third quarter?” (Which saw the Celtics fall 37-17). and why they are fighting against the Heat protection zone.
Stevens thought his team was unconnected in the third quarter.
“We broke up and we didn’t play well. And they did a good job, “Stevens said. “We don’t beat this team if we are not fully connected at both ends of the court. So, we have to go back to what we did at times, but right now they are a better team and we will have to fight to get back in this series. “
Tatum simply said that the heat “beat us, in short.”
The Celtics returned from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a five-point lead with the remaining 4:25. However, Heat closed the game with a 15-7 series to win 106-101.
While the Celtics failed to hold the small lead, Stevens liked the way his team played below.
“I thought once we did that, we really played very well,” Stevens said. “Dragic hit the two disputed shots over Theis, one of them at the very end of the clock, when he threw it. We did a lot of good things in the last seven minutes. We just shot ourselves in the third. ”
The Heat broke through their zone defense for most of the second half, allowing just 41 points after the Celtics scored 60 in the first half.
Stevens tilted his hat to the Heat, but reflected that the Celtics were able to handle the area much better in Game 1.
“It’s a difficult zone to play against,” Stevens said. “We played well against him in match 1. We played at a much better pace than tonight. So, we’re going to go back and look at it, see if it was something technical or tempo, or something to do, or something less focused on the important things. “
In the 25 plays the Celtics had against defending the Heat Zone in the second half, they fired just five shots and made five turns, according to ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry.
The Celtics had 5 shots and 5 rebounds in 25 games against Heath’s defense in the second half.
h / t @ESPNStatsInfo
– Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) September 18, 2020
Tatum was noticeably one of those players affected by the area. He made five turns and saw that his attempts to strike were halved from game 1 (24) to game 2 (12), as he failed to get open eyes. He said he had to be “ready to shoot” and “able to shoot at defenders, any daylight I get.”
“I want to. I knew,” Tatum said of how to fight the team’s fight against zone defense. “I have to watch the movie. We have to have a better distance, I think. Many times we just weren’t in the right places. Whether it’s against man or zone, it won’t help. You always have to have the right distance to create a good movement (s). A good shot.
The Celtics have two days to figure out how to beat the Heat defensive zone, otherwise they will go down 3-0 after Saturday’s 3 game.
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