After a lead of 17 points at halftime in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Heat, an explosion is said to have occurred after the defeat in the Celtics’ dressing room.
Marcus Smart and other Celtics players quarreled in the locker room, according to Gary Washburn The Boston Globe.
Smart reportedly yelled “You all on that bull -” at his teammates before going into the bathroom. Washburn also reported that several players argued for several minutes and that objects were thrown.
Kemba Walker downplayed the incident to reporters a moment later.
“It was nothing,” said Walker. “It was nothing. I don’t talk about it.”
“I’m not talking about it.” – Kemba Walker on the postgame locker room argument # Celtics pic.twitter.com/3acbSRM9aD
– Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 18, 2020
Tatum has slightly expanded the team’s feeling after falling 2-0.
“We are frustrated,” said Tatum. “This is a team sport. We shouldn’t be happy that we lost 2-0. It was nothing [out of the] ordinary. I’m just talking about the game. It’s cool, I have to get ready for the next one. “
“What happens in the locker room must stay in the locker room,” Tatum later added. “We shouldn’t come here and talk about what we talked about as a team after a win or a loss. So we go into the locker room and talk to each other about whether we are winning or losing. This is the.”
“The boys were emotional after a tough game, a tough loss,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Smart reportedly left the arena not long after and stopped speaking to the media after Thursday’s defeat.
What happened in the game itself were the two most common questions Stevens, Tatum and Walker faced: “What happened this third quarter?” (which resulted in the Celtics scoring 37-17 points) and why they fought zone defense of the heat.
Stevens believed his team was disconnected in the third quarter.
“We broke up and didn’t play well. And they did a good job, ”said Stevens. “We won’t beat this team unless we are fully connected at both ends of the pitch. So we have to go back to what we did sometimes, but right now they’re a better team and we have to fight to get back into this series. “
Tatum simply said that the heat “outperformed us, long story short”.
The Celtics returned from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took a 4:25 lead. However, the Heat ended the game on a 15-7 run to score a 106-101 victory.
While the Celtics were unable to hold the small lead, Stevens liked the way his team played down the track.
“I thought we played really well after that,” said Stevens. “Dragić shot the two contested shots over Theis, one of them at the very end of the shot clock when he threw it in. We have done a lot of good things in the last seven minutes. We just shot ourselves in the third. “
The heat broke out their zone defense for much of the second half, allowing only 41 points after the Celtics scored 60 in the first half.
Stevens tipped his hat on the heat, but reflected that the Celtics were much better at handling the zone in Game 1.
“It’s a difficult area to play against,” said Stevens. “We played well against it in Game 1. We played a lot faster than tonight. So let’s go back and look at this to see if it’s a technical thing, or a tempo thing, or an execution thing, or a thing that isn’t so focused on what’s important. “
In the 25 games the Celtics had in the second half against the Zone Defense of the Heat, they only made five shots and made five turnovers, according to ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry.
The Celtics had 5 shots and 5 turnovers in 25 games against the Zone Defense of the Heat in the 2nd half.
h / t @ESPNStatsInfo
– Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) September 18, 2020
Tatum was noticeably one of the players affected by the zone. He made five turnovers and saw his shot attempts cut in half from Game 1 (24) to Game 2 (12) because he couldn’t get open looks. He said he had to be “ready to fire” and “able to shoot over defenders in any light”.
“I wish. I knew,” said Tatum, how to fight the team’s battles against zone defense. “I have to watch the movie. We have to have better distances, I think. Often times we just weren’t in the right places. Whether against a man or a zone, that won’t help. You always have to be the right distance to get a good move (and) a good shot.
The Celtics have two days to figure out how to beat the heat zone defense. Otherwise they go 3-0 back after the third game on Saturday.
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