NBA

Boston Celtics Fighting Locker-Room Tension After Another Brutal Collapse

The Miami Heat had the Boston Celtics right where they wanted them Thursday night. The Celtics held a 17-point lead in the second quarter that eventually was 13 at halftime. The Heat, as they did in Game 1, overcame a double-digit deficit and escaped with the victory. After the Game 2 collapse, the Celtics were dealing with some locker-room drama.

GM Danny Ainge has the Boston Celtics in a good place

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The Boston Celtics have a nice young core that should allow them to make some deep postseason runs in the near future. General manager Danny Ainge has put the team in a position with a strong selection of draft choices through a boatload of draft picks he has accumulated throughout the years.

When the run of Boston’s Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen was nearing it end, Ainge shipped Pierce and Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets, setting up the Celtics’ future. During NBA draft night in 2013, Ainge sent Garnett, Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Nets for five players AND first-round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Those picks were the key to making the Celtics what they are now.

With those boatloads of picks and others Ainge accumulated, the Celtics were able to land Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum. They were also able to land all-star Kyrie Irving in a deal. While the Irving trade didn’t turn out as planned, Smart, Tatum, and Brown have the Celtics set up fr an exciting future.

Celtics have blown two big leads to the Miami Heat

The Boston Celtics could easily be up 2-0 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, Miami’s never-say-die attitude has the Heat sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead. Boston blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter of the series opener. The Celtics then saw a 17-point lead in Game 2 disappear.

Bam Adebayo, whose block on Jayson Tatum in the waning seconds of Game 1 to preserve the win, put things simply after the Heat’s second straight comeback win. “We got grit,” Adebayo said, according to ESPN. “That’s about all I can tell you. We got grit, man.”

According to ESPN, Miami’s 17-point comeback in Game 2 matched the franchise’s biggest comeback in postseason history. Jimmy Butler, who finished with 14 points, said the Heat are used to being the comeback kids. “We like to make it hard on ourselves,” Butler said. “We like being down double-digits and being the comeback kids.”

The Boston Celtics had some drama in the locker room after Game 2

According to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, after the Boston Celtics blew their second huge lead of the series, there was some yelling and some items being thrown around in the locker room in apparent frustration. Washburn said Marcus Smart was among several Celtics players screaming in the locker room.

After the incident, Celtics coaches and players didn’t have much to say. “Guys were emotional after a hard game. Hard loss,” Stevens said. Kemba Walker said he wouldn’t talk about it. It was nothing. It was nothing. I’m not speaking about it,” Walker said.

Jaylen Brown said there was just a lot of emotions flying around and Marcus Smart is a very emotional player. “He plays with passion, he’s full of fire, and that’s what I love about him most, to be honest,” he said of Smart. “He has that desire and that will and we need him to continue to have that.┬áThere’s ups and downs with families all the time. But we embrace each other for who we are. And who Marcus is, I love him for it.”