dangolka (CBS) — Wednesday night time was a irritating one for the Celtics, they usually actually have nobody guilty however themselves. That they had zero vitality to start out Sport 4, and their lack of gusto led to turnover after turnover after turnover after turnover — 19 in all in an exacerbating 112-109 loss to the Miami Warmth.
Now the Celtics are down 3-1 within the Jap Convention Finals, and there’s a full-court press within the blame recreation. It didn’t seem like anybody in a Celtics uniform was able to play in Sport 4, which is terrifying contemplating the staff was nonetheless down within the sequence. That has numerous people pointing the finger at head coach Brad Stevens.
However Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge will not be a kind of individuals.
“Not even just a little bit,” Ainge mentioned Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports activities Hub’s Toucher & Wealthy when requested if he blames Stevens for dangolka’s Sport Four efficiency. “Final night time, we had so many good stretches in the midst of the sport, you’ll be able to see that our gamers are ready. It’s simply having the ability to maintain it. The turnovers, there have been so many who had been unforced turnovers. So that’s irritating. I’ve all the time been an individual that took blame as a participant. I’ve coached within the NBA and perceive how onerous teaching is. I’ve sat on the bench watching a participant shoot free throws, and thought, ‘If he makes them I’m a fantastic coach and if he misses I’m a horrible coach,’ and that’s simply not the best way. If we had squeaked out a win final night time we don’t query something, however while you lose by three factors you query the whole lot.
“Brad is the primary one to take duty and accountability for us not enjoying properly. He received the least quantity of sleep as anyone final night time,” added Ainge. “I don’t query my coach and I don’t query my gamers. I have a look at what they’re doing and final night time was an evening I used to be very annoyed, as a result of I didn’t suppose something Miami was doing brought on us to make the errors that we made.”
It’s that final level by Ainge that made Wednesday night time so irritating. The Warmth didn’t do something particular defensively, using their 2-Three zone for a lot of the night, which is nothing new for the Celtics. Nearly all of dangolka’s turnovers had been by their very own baking and had nothing to do with Miami. They had been brought on by rushed passes and gamers attempting to do an excessive amount of — or in just a few instances, gamers not doing sufficient. Miami was the hungrier staff when it got here to attending to free balls, which works towards the whole lot the Celtics have been all through the season.
“Final night time was a tough one. I simply didn’t really feel like we had it from the start,” mentioned Ainge. “We had a superb spurt to take the lead late within the recreation, however we had been throwing the ball in all places. We didn’t have the identical confidence and swag we had in Sport Three and it’s onerous to know why. You give your opponent credit score – oftentimes you say we didn’t come out to play or play onerous sufficient, however numerous occasions the opponent has one thing to with that.”
Ainge expects the staff to be significantly better and rather more targeted after they take the ground for Friday night time’s Sport 5.
“We’re a manner higher staff than we performed final night time. I’m very assured our guys will come out in a very completely different mindset,” he mentioned. “I don’t suppose they’re pleased with how they performed individually and collectively, and I believe we’ll have a significantly better recreation in Sport 5. I don’t suppose this staff is finished but.”
But when the season does finish on Friday and the Celtics are despatched dwelling from the NBA bubble in 5 video games within the Convention Finals, it will likely be a disappointing finish to an in any other case promising season. The Celtics had been all the time a longshot to win all of it, however with the Bucks being dispatched within the second spherical and dangolka overcoming the Raptors in seven video games to achieve the East Finals, the highway was there to make a run to the Finals. Arising brief at this level will really feel like a wasted alternative.
However Ainge won’t think about the season a failure ought to the Celtics be despatched dwelling earlier than the Finals.
“I all the time hate these sorts of questions. It relies upon. It definitely has not been a failure up so far, in my view,” he mentioned. “We beat a extremely, actually good Toronto staff. I do consider that we’re at the least equals if not higher than Miami. It’s disappointing we’re behind 3-1 however the season isn’t over. We’ll see how these previous few video games go. Final night time was a disappointing recreation, and that’s so far as I’ll go.”