The Celtics lost 108-107 in a game that showcased strides in the first half, another excellent performance from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, before a third quarter meltdown, bad Tatum shot at the buzzer and Robert Williams mistake swept it away.
While Brown emphasized it’s only three games, and Payton Pritchard is now rolling too, Boston ranks last in defensive shooting efficiency allowed. Brad Stevens said the Celtics need to get right sooner rather than later, and that may involve lineup and rotation changes tonight.
Listen to him and the rest of CLNS Media’s coverage of the Celtics and Pacers series below.
Reaction to Jayson Tatum Final Shot - Celtics vs Pacers Recap
The Garden Report crew recaps the Celtics losing 108-107 to the Pacers after Jayson Tatum missed a final second step back three similar to what beat the Bucks on opening night. John Zannis, Josue Pavon, Jimmy Toscano and Bobby Manning debated the shot, Boston’s defense and the approach in crunch time. Why were Robert and Grant Williams on the floor when Damontas Sabonis ran the ultimately game winning play against them?
Is Robert Williams the best center on the Celtics?
Brad Stevens left Robert Williams in for crunch time and the young Celtics center delivered with a block on Malcolm Brogdon, two steals that turned into points and he finished the night 6-for-7 from the field. His foul on Damontas Sabonis turned into the game-winning free throw for the Pacers, but in two games for Boston he’s steadily contributed at the backup center spot. With Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson streaky to start the year, could Rob emerge as the best center? The Garden Report talks Rob and the struggles of Grant Williams at the four next to him.
Revisiting Celtics, Pacers Myles Turner trade talks
Myles Turner blocked five shots and scored four important points in crunch time against the Celtics with Tristan Thompson off the floor for Boston late. The Pacers won 108-107 in the first meeting between two teams that nearly transformed each other’s rosters with a Gordon Hayward sign and trade last month. The Celtics moved on from talks that reportedly centered around Turner and Doug McDermott, who scored 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting.
The Garden Report revisited the Turner trade debate after the game, with Bobby Manning again defending Boston’s search for flexibility while John and Jimmy wish that the trade could’ve happened considering Celtics depth concerns.
Payton Pritchard hits every shot for Celtics vs Pacers
Payton Pritchard hit all five shots he took, including four threes, against the Pacers in a breakout performance and another game where he manned the backup point guard spot. The Celtics rookie is adjusting quickly and earning praise for his ball-handling, shooting and grit from Brad Stevens. What’s his emergence mean for Boston and Jeff Teague, who hasn’t made a shot since opening night? The Garden Report debates.
Is it time for the Celtics to unleash Aaron Nesmith?
The Celtics have gone with Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson in the starting lineup while Grant Williams and Semi Ojeleye rotate in at the four in bench units. Aaron Nesmith is squarely out of the Celtics rotation through three games, but Stevens said he could get chances in easier matchups before hinting at lineup changes after Boston lost to the Pacers. Could he help Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown facilitate further, or is he simply not ready for NBA action yet?
Celtics Post Game Show
Press conferences —
Brad Stevens: Tatum took a “tough shot”
Jayson Tatum: “It wasn’t the exact play we drew up. I should’ve put pressure on them”
Robert Williams: “I messed up the coverage”
Jaylen Brown: “It’s three games”
Marcus Smart: “I’m fine,” after shoulder injury
Payton Pritchard: “I’m mentally prepared” for NBA