The Boston Celtics have no one to blame but themselves for blowing a 17 point lead last night. With that said, you almost have to tip your hat to the guy that cooked them all night long. Here’s what coach said about Jamal Murray’s performance (via the Herald).
“It was a heck of an individual performance,” Brad Stevens said. “We tried a lot of different guys, a lot of different coverages, tried to go small and switch, tried to do a lot of different things. And he pretty much cooked us all night. He had a heck of a game.
“We sent two at him most of that time in the fourth. By then he’s just rolling so much. I thought he got a couple of easy ones that made him feel good right out of the gate. He had been struggling shooting the 3 coming into the game, at least versus his level. And we left him early. And he had that 10-point run in the first half when we were really scoring the ball. And from that point on, he was just lights out. I mean, he was tremendous.”
As tremendous as he was, he irked the Celtics with a last second shot in an attempt to reach 50+ points (he finished with 48).
Marcus Smart minced no words (via the Athletic):
“If it was me on the court it would have been something, but I wasn’t — you know, I’m trying to save my money,” Smart shared later after dressing in the back corner of a quiet Celtics locker room. “So I told him, I said, ‘Listen, next time we’re not going to let that slide. So take this one. Otherwise your teammates right here (will need to step in). Don’t do that shit again.’ My exact words.”
Kyrie Irving then tossed the game ball into the stands (in theory so Jamal couldn’t have it).
The frustration is understandable, but I have a feeling that to a man they understand that the real problem lies with their own game execution and performance. Hopefully they can take some of these early struggles as motivation to fix mistakes and be more consistent in their game plan going forward.