Another rough loss turned into something larger on Thursday night, requiring a 1 a.m. meeting with Brad Stevens, according to reports. The Celtics feuded in the locker room, causing Marcus Smart to storm out and leaving the team to collectively downplay what Gary Washburn stated was the most raucous post game locker room he had ever seen.
The Celtics led by as many as 17 points before a 37-17 meltdown in the third quarter that allowed the Heat to take a 2-0 lead the in Eastern Conference Finals. Gordon Hayward appears ready to return from his ankle injury, but larger issues beyond schemes seem to be afflicting the Celtics with little time remaining to fix it.
Scroll below for reaction from CLNS Media’s post game coverage team and the Celtics and Heat.
The Garden Report —
Celtics Locker Room Explodes After Game 2 Loss vs Heat
After the game, Smart reportedly blew up in the locker room and was heard arguing and screaming. Some reports say things were thrown. Is this a bad sign for the Celtics going forward or will this ignite the team to turn things around for Game 3 on Saturday?
Can the Celtics Come Back From Being Down 0-2 to the Heat?
The Boston Celtics are in a 0-2 hole in the Eastern Conference Finals after blowing multiple double digit leads against the Miami Heat. The Celtics had another abysmal third quarter performance and couldn’t take care of the ball, totaling 19 turnovers. What does Boston need to do to get back into this series?
Game 1 Post Game Show
Press Conferences —
Brad Stevens said the fighting heard from the Celtics’ locker room after their Game 2 collapse against the Heat was normal post game frustration. Practice is cancelled tomorrow, but Stevens said there’s always pieces to be picked up after every game. He broke into some of the issues the Celtics had against the zone. It wasn’t anything schematic that lost the game, he said, as much as it was needing to be better.
Jaylen Brown spoke more freely than his Celtics teammates about the reported unrest in the locker room after blowing a second straight double digit lead to the Heat in Game 2. Brown compared the situation to family fighting and said the team has an enormous amount of love and respect for Marcus Smart. Brown led a late burst to get the Celtics within three before missing the game-tying three before the buzzer.
Kemba Walker said nothing happened in the locker room and agreed that the Celtics didn’t compete in the third quarter. The limited minutes weren’t part of the plan he said, and the C’s need to simply get back out and make plays. Walker scored 23 points on 9-for-19 shooting with seven rebounds and three assists in a bounce back game, but he and Jayson Tatum combined for more turnovers (10) than the entire Heat team committed.
Jayson Tatum discussed the apparent fight in the Celtics’ locker room after Boston blew a 17-point lead during a 20-point loss in the third quarter. The C’s bounced back after, largely behind a Jaylen Brown shooting explosion late in the fourth, but Brown missed a potential game-tying three at the end of the quarter. Tatum said the locker room noise was nothing more than frustration after a loss, which put the Celtics down 0-2 in the East Finals.
Spoelstra credited the Celtics for pushing the Heat early in the game and spoke some Tagalog after Miami took a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Bam Adebayo discussed Duncan Robinson’s Game 2 explosion and when he first discovered him during summer league. He also dove into how the Heat overcame two double digit deficits against the Celtics to take a 2-0 lead.
Jimmy Butler discussed his two critical steals in the fourth quarter and how the Heat adjusted after a slow first half. Butler scored 14 points on 4-for-11 shooting as the Heat took a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Duncan Robinson reacted to reports of a fight in the Celtics locker room after the Heat took a 2-0 lead in Game 2 by overcoming a 17 point deficit. He said the Heat had a similar, but direct and less explosive situation at halftime that led to their 37-17 third quarter. Robinson hit 6-of-12 threes. in the win.