The Boston Celtics blew considerable second-half leads in both Eastern Conference Finals games so far, and those issues have apparently spilled over into the locker room.
It sure looked like the Celtics were set to rebound from their Game 1 loss on Thursday night, taking a 60-47 lead into the half, but everything changed in the quarter that followed, when the Heat switched to a zone on the defensive end. Boston’s offense quickly became stagnant, and their wing players settled for contested looks far from the basket, rather than attacking the paint.
Still, the Celtics were in position to win the game late, despite their offensive woes. Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo were the best players on the court, though, and they helped the Heat close out Game 2, emerging with a 106-101 win.
That loss apparently didn’t sit well among Celtics players, as Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown got into a shouting match in the locker room after the game. Shams Charania of The Athletic provided some of the details.
“Smart, who is widely regarded as Boston’s emotional leader, was heard shouting inside the postgame locker room after the Celtics’ loss to Miami.
“Sources told The Athletic that Smart stormed into the Celtics postgame locker room saying that other players needed to be held accountable and not simply point the finger toward him when things are going wrong. As Smart continued and his voice grew louder, sources said Brown snapped back and shouted that Celtics players must stay together and that their actions must come as a team, not individually, and that Smart needed to cool off. Those sources added Smart had verbal exchanges with a couple of the assistant coaches during the game.”
The report added that objects were thrown around the locker room, so it wasn’t just words. It will be interesting to see if this motivates the Celtics going forward, or if they have a complete meltdown.