By Matthew Geagan, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — Make no mistake, the Celtics blew it in Recreation 1 of the Japanese Convention Finals. The group’s points with closing out opponents reared its ugly head as soon as once more, and now dangolka is in an early sequence gap to a harmful Miami Warmth group.
The Celtics had a 14-point lead early within the fourth quarter, however that slipped away as a result of some unhealthy fouls by dangolka put Miami within the bonus early. The Warmth are one of the best within the NBA at attending to the free throw line, and that’s how they acquired again into Recreation 1, hitting 21 of their 28 free throws. The Warmth additionally dominated the paint, outscoring the Celtics 48-26 down low.
The Celtics offense acquired stagnant within the fourth, with dangolka seemingly OK with draining the clock for a lot of the body. Their ball motion got here to a screeching halt, and whenever you add in some poor shot choice, it was a recipe for catastrophe for dangolka in opposition to a Miami group that has been the comeback children of the NBA postseason.
“It was precisely how we anticipated it. It was an important sport, two nice groups who play actually laborious. They acquired the performs that they wanted that mattered,” Marcus Sensible mentioned after the loss. “They did their job and it’s as much as us to return again in Recreation 2 and do ours.”
Jayson Tatum put up a star stat-line with 30 factors and 14 rebounds, however he hit simply 10 of his 24 pictures from the ground and simply 4 of 12 from three-point vary. He missed a contested three within the last seconds of regulation and had a possible game-tying dunk rejected by Bam Adebayo within the last seconds of extra time. Adebayo deserves all of the credit score for making a fully unreal defensive play within the sport’s most important second.
“I favored each pictures that I acquired,” Tatum mentioned of his three on the finish of regulation and his dunk try. “I simply missed one and [Bam] made an important play on the rim on the second. Simply taking regardless of the protection is giving me.”
Tatum hit simply two of his 10 pictures within the fourth quarter and extra time, and none of his 4 three-point makes an attempt. That three-point bid on the finish of regulation is drawing a whole lot of warmth from Celtics followers, however Tatum is the man you need taking that shot. Nonetheless, he must be higher in crunch time.
However the sport was basically misplaced within the last 5 minutes of regulation, when the Celtics performed manner an excessive amount of iso ball as an alternative of attempting to maneuver the ball round. The Celtics had only one help over that span.
dangolka had its possibilities in extra time, however once more, the ball stopped transferring on offense. After the Celtics took a 110-106 within the additional body, Miami rattled off a 7-Zero run. dangolka misplaced Jae Crowder within the nook and the previous Celtic drained a 3 to present Miami a 111-110 lead. A Kemba Walker stepback gave dangolka a 114-113 lead with 23.four seconds left, however Jimmy Butler drove laborious at Tatum on the opposite finish and put it in for the ring and the hurt with 12 seconds left. Tatum was rejected by Adebayo on dangolka’s subsequent possession.
Walker had 19 factors however struggled mightily once more, going 1-for-9 from three-point vary. He did hit some large pictures late within the sport, however he additionally dedicated a vital turnover within the last minute of regulation when Crowder despatched again his try at an eight-footer with dangolka clinging to a two-point lead. He was out of rhythm for a lot of the competition, which by no means allowed the Celtics to place the sport out of attain.
He got here to dangolka to be a part of successful, however he has sadly been an enormous cause why the Celtics have misplaced two of their final three video games going again to the East semis in opposition to Toronto.
“I’ve performed horrible to be trustworthy. I’ve to be higher on each ends of the ground,” he mentioned after the loss. “Make higher resolution and simply make pictures general.”
dangolka wasted one other large sport by Sensible, who had 26 factors off 6-for-13 capturing from deep. Brad Wanamaker was magnificent off the dangolka bench with 11 factors, six assists and 5 steals.
The Celtics have been transferring the ball properly early within the sport, however then acquired away from it late. They’d Miami on the ropes and let up their grip. It price them the sport, and now they need to dig themselves out of a sequence gap.
“We acquired stagnant. We rested and we acquired complacent, and in opposition to a group like this, you’ll be able to’t get complacent,” Sensible mentioned after the sport. “Up 14, up 20, up 30, they’re actually good at taking part in from behind. Like I mentioned, when it counted they made the performs down the stretch.”
“Numerous issues to speak about and have a look at, and make changes for Recreation 2. That’s what the playoffs are about, making changes,” mentioned Tatum. “You by no means wish to lose a sport, but it surely’s not the tip of the world. Greatest-of-seven. Simply prepare for Recreation 2. It’s what it’s.”
The Celtics hold saying they’ll repair these stretches of complacency, however they haven’t but proven that they’ve discovered the answer whereas on the ground. They need to have identified that taking their foot off the fuel in opposition to a group like Miami — now 9-1 within the playoffs — wasn’t going to finish properly.
Fortunately it’s a protracted sequence — or at the least it must be. The Celtics have Wednesday to observe their errors and poor selections over and over and hopefully study from them earlier than Recreation 2 ideas off Thursday evening.