Why Celtics downplayed ‘emotional’ locker room blowup following Game 2 loss to Heat — Portal4News

Mark Medina   | USA TODAY With frustrations running high, the voices in the Boston Celtics’ locker room became increasingly loud. So loud that reporters on site could hear Celtics guard Marcus Smart and other players having heated conversations following their 106-101 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which […]

Why Celtics downplayed ‘emotional’ locker room blowup following Game 2 loss to Heat — Portal4News

USA TODAY

With frustrations running high, the voices in the Boston Celtics’ locker room became increasingly loud.

So loud that reporters on site could hear Celtics guard Marcus Smart and other players having heated conversations following their 106-101 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which puts Boston in an 0-2 series deficit.

“It was nothing. It was nothing,” Celtics guard Kemba Walker said. “Ain’t nothing happening in the locker room. I don’t know what you’re talking about, to be honest. We’ll be fine.”

The Celtics hardly looked fine in Game 2.

They squandered a 17-point lead as Miami outscored Boston 37-17 in the third quarter. The Heat scored 26 points off the Celtics’ 19 turnovers. And after holding a 94-89 lead with 4:25 left following a 15-2 run, the Heat responded with a 17-7 run while the Celtics missed four of their last six shots and committed three turnovers. This all happened two days after Boston blew a 14-point lead in Game 1.

GAME 2 COLLAPSE: Heat rally again to stun Celtics for 2-0 lead

BUBBLE BALL: Have playoff games been better in the bubble?

NO BATTLE OF LA: Lakers insist they didn’t care about Clippers

No wonder the Celtics expressed displeasure in the locker room afterwards. As Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, “guys were emotional after a hard game, hard loss.”

“We’re down 0-2. We’re frustrated. But that’s team sports,” Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said. “No one should be happy to be down 0-2. But nothing out of the ordinary. Just talking about the game.”

“He plays with passion, he’s full of fire and that’s what I love about him most.”

Jaylen Brown on Marcus Smart and reported heated Celtics locker room after Game 2 loss pic.twitter.com/rNa9etgTDZ

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 18, 2020

Celtics players did not necessarily talk about the game in the locker room. They screamed about the game with expletives. But when they went to the interview room, they sounded stoic and polite.

“What happens in the locker room got to stay in the locker room,” Tatum said. “We’re not supposed to come out here and talk about what we talk about as a team. Win or lose. That’s why we go to the locker room when we talk to each other, whether we win or we lose.”

The reason for the Celtics’ loss points to many areas.

The Heat’s entire starting lineup cracked double figures, including Goran Dragic (25 points), Bam Adebayo (21), Duncan Robinson (18), Jimmy Butler (14) and Jae Crowder (12). Miami dominated Boston on the offensive glass (11-6). The Celtics struggled against the Heat’s zone defense in the third quarter, while shooting 4-of-12 from the field.

Although the Celtics had Walker (23 points) Tatum (21), Jaylen Brown (21) and Smart (14) reach double figures, they could not prevail in crunch time. Walker missed a 3-pointer as Miami held a 97-95 lead with 2:06 left. Smart clanked a 3-pointer on the next possession before committing a turnover. Then it was Brown’s turn to miss from deep as the Heat had a 104-101 lead with only 15.1 seconds left.

“We didn’t continue to do the things that we did to get us up and get us that lead,” Walker said. “I think we got kind of comfortable. Those guys, they took advantage of it. They played hard. They played really hard. They played a lot harder than us. They wanted it.”

All of which led to some frustrations afterwards. So much that the Celtics don’t plan to have a formal practice Friday. Either way, they will have plenty to address before Game 3 on Saturday. Perhaps then, voices won’t be raised.

“Got to fix some things up,” Tatum said. “Two times now we’ve had a couple double-digit leads and we let go of the ropes. We got to figure out why that keeps happening. Just have to be prepared to win the next one.”

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Celtics drop Game 2, fall behind Miami 2-0 — Boston Herald

There were multiple reports of the sound of furniture being thrown inside the Celtics locker room, and the sight of Marcus Smart storming out as he uttered some choice words. 891 more words

Celtics drop Game 2, fall behind Miami 2-0 — Boston Herald

Best Defensive Play Ever? NBA Legend In Awe Of Bam Adebayo’s Game 1 Block — NESN.com

Is Magic Johnson on to something or was the Los Angeles Lakers legend simply a victim of the moment? Bam Adebayo helped seal the Miami Heat’s 117-114 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night by stuffing Jayson Tatum at the rim with seconds remaining in overtime. […]

Best Defensive Play Ever? NBA Legend In Awe Of Bam Adebayo’s Game 1 Block — NESN.com

Celtics’ Walker, Heat’s Butler waited years for East finals — The China Post, Taiwan

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Kemba Walker and Jimmy Butler entered the NBA on the same night. They’ve paid their dues since the 2011 NBA draft. Butler is a five-time All-Star, Walker a four-time selection. Walker has the better scoring numbers, Butler the better defensive numbers. Butler leads with a style that’s often erroneously […]

Celtics’ Walker, Heat’s Butler waited years for East finals — The China Post, Taiwan

Horoscopes Sept. 14, 2020: Jimmy Butler, take your time and evaluate each scenario with discretion — Times-Standard

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Jimmy Butler, 31; Dilshad Vadsaria, 35; Andrew Lincoln, 47; Robert Herjavec, 58.  Happy Birthday: A desire for change will tempt you to move or rethink your direction this year. Take your time, and evaluate each scenario with discretion. Impulsiveness and stubbornness will be your downfall if you let emotions be…

Horoscopes Sept. 14, 2020: Jimmy Butler, take your time and evaluate each scenario with discretion — Times-Standard

Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals Will Tip Off Tuesday Night — CBS Boston

The Celtics are back in the Eastern Conference Finals, where they’ll face the Miami Heat. At the moment, we know when three of those games will be played.

Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals Will Tip Off Tuesday Night — CBS Boston

The Celtics are back in the Eastern Conference Finals, where they’ll face the Miami Heat. At the moment, we know when three of those games will be played.

Well, for the most part, at least. We don’t know exactly what time some of those games will be played, but we do have some dates. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

Game 1 of the Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals will tip off on Tuesday night, Sept. 15, but the time of that game depends on the Clippers-Nuggets Western Conference Semifinals. If the Nuggets force a Game 7, then the Celtics and the Heat will tip off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. If Los Angeles closes out Denver on Sunday afternoon, then Boston and Miami will tip off at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

After a late night Friday, everyone should be rooting for a Game 7 in the Clippers-Nuggets series.

Game 2 of the Celtics-Heat series is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17, with the time TBD. Game 3 is set for Saturday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 p.m., according to NBA.com.

Nothing after that is on the docket yet, but chances are the NBA will keep its every-other-day schedule, meaning Games 4-7 would be Monday (Sept. 21), Wednesday (Sept. 23), Friday (Sept. 25) and Sunday (Sept. 27). You know, if Games 5-7 are necessary.

The Celtics needed seven games to send the defending champion Toronto Raptors home, while the Heat moved on after dispatching the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the second-round. Like Boston, Miami swept their first-round series against the Indiana Pacers. Miami is 8-1 in the playoffs after going just 3-5 in its seeding games.

One of those seeding-game wins came against the Celtics, a 112-106 victory on Aug. 4 without Jimmy Butler. The Celtics won their two matchups against the Heat during the regular season.

“I know we always think we’re going to win every game we play,” Jayson Tatum said of the upcoming series. “We didn’t come down here just for the first and second rounds. We didn’t really pay attention to outside noise, whether we were favorite or not. That doesn’t matter to us. It’s all about the guys in that locker room. We know what we’re capable of, we just got to get out there and do it.”

“We’re going to just take our time, rest our bodies up, take a few days and get prepared for a great team,” added Kemba Walker. “Those guys, they balled last series. Those guys are nothing but players.”

No Giannis, no problem: Bucks top Heat in OT, force Game 5 — The Florida Daily Post

The Milwaukee Bucks avoided a sweep by beating the Miami Heat 118-115 in overtime of Game 4.

No Giannis, no problem: Bucks top Heat in OT, force Game 5 — The Florida Daily Post

Giannis Antetokounmpo was waiting in the locker room for his teammates Sunday, standing on his bad right ankle to greet every one of them.

His day ended early.

His season isn’t over yet.

Khris Middleton scored 36 points, including a big 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds left in overtime, and the Milwaukee Bucks avoided a sweep by beating the Miami Heat 118-115 in overtime of Game 4 of the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Heat still lead 3-1, but the Bucks — the best team in the regular season — are still alive, even after Antetokounmpo left early in the second quarter with an aggravation of his sprained right ankle.

“Khris is very unique,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He’s got a way about him. He wanted to play. He asked to stay in the game.”

As if there was any other option. Middleton’s season-high before Sunday was 40 minutes; he logged 48 in Game 4, taking over with Antetokounmpo watching from the locker room.

“Just keep fighting,” said Middleton, who also had eight rebounds and eight assists. “That’s all my teammates did.”

Bam Adebayo had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists for Miami. Duncan Robinson scored 20 points, Jae Crowder had 18, and Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler each finished with 17 for the Heat.

“We didn’t deserve to win that game,” Butler said.

Miami had an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter, promptly allowed the Bucks to score the next 12, and now needs to come back Tuesday in an effort to finish the series off.

“At the end of the day, we should have played like we did in Game 1, Game 2 and Game 3,” Adebayo said.

Antetokounmpo scored 19 points for the Bucks in only 11 minutes, while Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe each had 14 for Milwaukee. George Hill added 12 for the Bucks.

Miami managed only two points in the first 4:30 of overtime, got within one on a 3-pointer from Tyler Herro, but Middleton delivered the biggest shot of the night to make it 116-112.

Herro made another 3-pointer with 3.0 seconds left, but Middleton sealed it with a pair of free throws — and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra lauded Milwaukee’s effort afterward.

“The reality is, they deserved to win the game,” Spoelstra said. “They were doing things with more force, more consistency.”

Antetokounmpo had 19 of Milwaukee’s first 30 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the floor. But in an instant, everything changed for the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo aggravated his sprained right ankle with 10:18 left in the second quarter, rolling it inward — just as he did in Game 3 on Friday — as he tried to drive past Miami’s Andre Iguodala. He tumbled to the court, grabbing the ankle and screaming in pain.

He took the free throws; without doing that, he would not have been permitted to return. But at halftime, the Bucks delivered the word that he would not be back.

So, his game was over.

The Bucks’ season wasn’t. Milwaukee said Antetokounmpo would get plenty of treatment Sunday night and Monday before a decision is made about his availability for Tuesday.

“He’s going to be back,” Bledsoe said.

Middleton did all he could to keep the Bucks afloat, scoring 21 points in the third quarter — the highest-scoring quarter of his career — on 6 for 9 shooting from the field and 7 for 7 from the foul line. His previous quarter-best was 20, on Nov. 1, 2017, against Charlotte.

He set the tone, and the Bucks’ season is still alive.

“We’ve got to fight every night to keep on playing,” Middleton said.

Tip-ins

Bucks: Milwaukee missed 19 consecutive 3-pointers — its last 12 of Game 3 and first seven of Game 4 — before Antetokounmpo connected late in the first quarter. … Milwaukee won despite getting outscored 51-33 on 3-pointers.

Heat: Miami was looking to become the first No. 5 seed in NBA history to go 8-0 in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Heat were the last unbeaten team in this year’s playoffs. … The Heat lost for only the fourth time in their last 17 series-closeout opportunities.

Sweep averted

The Bucks avoided becoming the first overall No. 1 seed to get swept from the playoffs since 2001 when the Los Angeles Lakers did it to top-seeded San Antonio in the Western Conference finals. Budenholzer was a Spurs assistant at that time.

Big minutes

Middleton wasn’t the only Milwaukee player to log big minutes. Lopez played 42, Bledsoe 40, and Hill 37. “We’re absolutely a family. We always have each other’s backs,” Lopez said.

Up next

Game 5 is Tuesday.

Jimmy Butler outscores Milwaukee in dominant fourth quarter, Miami leads series 3-0 — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Fourth-quarter scoring: Jimmy Butler 17, Milwaukee Bucks 13. Or, Giannis Antetokounmpo 4, Miami Heat 40.

Jimmy Butler outscores Milwaukee in dominant fourth quarter, Miami leads series 3-0 — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Butler helps Heat sweep despite shoulder strain — VOICE OF THE HWY

10:56 PM ET Miami Heat All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler has been dealing with a left shoulder strain over the last few days, but he does not expect the injury to limit him as the Heat continue to move forward in the NBA Playoffs. Butler’s acknowledgement came after Monday’s 99-87 Game 4 win over the Indiana […]

Butler helps Heat sweep despite shoulder strain — VOICE OF THE HWY

Raptors blog: VanVleet does it all; Lowry chasing greats; Powell finding way — Toronto Sun

Is Fred VanVleet even capable of surprising us anymore? After what he did against Milwaukee and Golden State last year the answer is probably not. However, VanVleet still turned some heads with an awesome outing in a close win over Miami on Monday.

Raptors blog: VanVleet does it all; Lowry chasing greats; Powell finding way — Toronto Sun

WOLSTAT: VanVleet’s career night leads Raptors over pesky Heat — Toronto Sun

The Toronto Raptors remain undefeated in the bubble, but Win No. 2 took even more grit than the previous victory. Read More

WOLSTAT: VanVleet’s career night leads Raptors over pesky Heat — Toronto Sun

NBA News — INSANE SPORTS

Heats’ Jimmy Butler Out; Virus Hint – Jimmy Butler was not with the Miami Heat for practice Sunday, and one of his teammates suggested that he was quarantining away from the team. The Heat said only that Butler, who scored 22 points in Miami’s restart-opening win over Denver on Saturday, had “an excused absence.” But Heat teammate Jae […]

NBA News — INSANE SPORTSHeats’ Jimmy Butler Out; Virus Hint – Jimmy Butler was not with the Miami Heat for practice Sunday, and one of his teammates suggested that he was quarantining away from the team. The Heat said only that Butler, who scored 22 points in Miami’s restart-opening win over Denver on Saturday, had “an excused absence.” But Heat teammate Jae Crowder indicated that it wasn’t just a day off for Butler. “We want to talk to him as soon as he gets out of quarantine or whatever he’s in,” Crowder said. “It’s just a next-man-up mentality from a standpoint of staying locked in and engaged, because we know he’s locked in and engaged once he’s able to get back with us. “It’s definitely a curveball for all of us to hear stuff like what’s going on with him,” Crowder added. “You never know what to expect.” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he didn’t know whether Butler would be available to play Monday when Miami faces the Toronto Raptors. The Heat play the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. Crowder’s reference to “quarantine,” especially in these times, suggests that there is a concern about the coronavirus. Everyone inside the NBA’s so-called bubble, players included, is tested daily for the coronavirus. Those tests results are often back within 24 hours, sometimes much less. Read more at:  https://www.foxnews.com/sports/butler-misses-heat-practice-teammate-hints-hes-isolating  (Associated Press)