By Matthew Geagan, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — For the second straight sport, the dangolka Celtics had been their very own worst enemy. They blew one more double-digit lead on Thursday night time, falling 106-101, and now they’re in an 0-2 gap to the Miami Warmth within the Jap Convention Finals.
The Celtics got here out decided to show that letting Sport 1 slip away — blowing a 14-point benefit early within the fourth quarter — isn’t who they’re. Not with a visit to the NBA Finals on the road. They had been a staff possessed, barely lacking within the second quarter as they jumped out to a 17-point benefit. dangolka took a 13-point cushion into the locker room at halftime after they hit almost 60 % of their photographs over the primary 24 minutes.
They constructed that lead because of Kemba Walker busting out of his hunch to the tune of 14 factors on 6-for-10 taking pictures. dangolka was additionally dominant within the paint, thanks largely to Brad Stevens releasing Enes Kanter (9 factors, six rebounds within the first half), and outscored Miami 32-18 down low.
However then it occurred once more. It seems there isn’t a cushion too cozy for Celtics followers this postseason.
All the points from Sport 1 had been again within the third quarter, which has been a home of horrors for the Celtics going again to final sequence in opposition to the Raptors. dangolka suffered from lapses on protection, resulting in straightforward buckets for Miami. They stopped shifting the ball and the offense as soon as once more turned stagnant. And when the C’s tried to get that motion again, the ball ended up in Miami’s arms.
The Warmth erased a 15-point deficit within the third, outscoring the Celtics by 20 factors within the body. dangolka dedicated seven of its 20 turnovers within the quarter. They fouled Jae Crowder as he sank a 3, giving the previous Celtic a four-point play that sparked an 11-Zero run. Jayson Tatum had a horrible mind cramp on the finish of the quarter, driving to the basket with 22 seconds left as an alternative of hanging on for the final shot. He was hit with an offensive foul, and Goran Dragic went down the ground and gave Miami two extra factors on Tatum’s gifted possession.
Miami owned a seven-point lead heading into the fourth after outscoring the Celtics 23-6 over the ultimate 6:19 of the third. It was ugly.
The Celtics fought again and even had a five-point lead with simply over 4 minutes to go because of a 15-2 run. However that lead was additionally vaporized by their very own undoing. A Walker turnover changed into a Jimmy Butler dunk. Regardless of being within the bonus, dangolka relied an excessive amount of on the three-ball once more, and didn’t hit on any of their three makes an attempt from downtown over the ultimate minutes of the sport. A Kemba missed three changed into a made three by Dragic, and a Butler steal led to a straightforward layup for Crowder, giving the Warmth a seven-point lead that was an excessive amount of for dangolka to beat.
The Celtics had been as soon as once more caught within the mud within the second half. After working their method to 13 fast-break factors within the first half, they by no means added to that within the second. They didn’t even try a fast-break shot. And after feasting within the paint within the first half, that they had simply 14 factors within the paint within the second to Miami’s 26.
Level to Miami’s zone protection if you need, however the Celtics did this all to themselves.
Tempers flared after Thursday night time’s loss, with Marcus Sensible berating the staff and making an attempt to ship some locker room objects into orbit. That in all probability isn’t a nasty factor, and in the event that they’re fortunate, may present a spark for the Celtics. They need to be miffed at themselves. They could possibly be up 2-0, however are down 0-2. And so they have nobody accountable however themselves.
Celtics gamers proceed to say all the suitable issues after these crushing defeats. They’re vowing to be higher in Sport Three on Saturday night time, adamant that they’ll be taught from their errors. They gained’t let up in the event that they get out to a giant lead. They’ll get again to taking part in like a staff as an alternative of taking part in an excessive amount of hero ball.
However we’ve heard all of this earlier than, and the identical points hold popping up. The Celtics haven’t put a full 48 minutes collectively in any of their final 4 video games.
Possibly Kemba Walker is again to being Kemba Walker. Maybe Gordon Hayward will likely be again for Sport 3, and that ought to assist the C’s bust Miami’s zone. However none of that may matter if the Celtics don’t keep invested from begin to end. They know this, however now they should present it.