Smart reportedly yelled “all of you on that bull -” at his teammates before heading to the bathroom. Washburn also reported that several players were arguing for several minutes and that objects were thrown.
Kemba Walker played down the incident to reporters moments later.
“It was nothing,” Walker said. ” It was nothing. I’m not talking about it.
“I’m not talking about it. – Kemba Walker on post-game locker room argument # Celtics pic.twitter.com/3acbSRM9aD
– Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 18, 2020
Tatum developed team sentiment a bit more after falling to 2-0.
“We are frustrated,” Tatum said. “It’s team sports. We’re not supposed to be happy that we lost 0-2. It was nothing [out of the] ordinary. I’m just talking about the game. It’s cool, I have to get ready for the next one.
“What happens in the locker should stay in the locker room,” Tatum added later. “We’re not supposed to come here and talk about what we talked about as a team after a win or a loss. That’s why we go into the locker room and talk to each other, whether we win or lose. That’s it. ”
“The guys were emotional after a tough game, a tough loss,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said.
Smart reportedly left the arena shortly thereafter and did not speak to the media following Thursday’s loss.
As to what happened in the game itself, the two common questions Stevens, Tatum and Walker faced were, “What happened in this third quarter?” (which saw the Celtics get beaten 37-17), and why they were battling the Heat’s zone defense.
Stevens believed his team were not connected in the third quarter.
“We broke up and we didn’t play well. And they did a good job, ”Stevens said. “We don’t beat this team if we aren’t fully connected on both sides of the pitch. So we have to go back to that, which we have sometimes done, but at the moment they’re a better team and we’re going to have to fight to get back into this series.
Tatum simply said that the heat “has beaten us, in short.
The Celtics came back from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a five-point lead with 4:25 to go. However, the Heat ended the game with a 15-7 run to give them a 106-101 win.
While the Celtics weren’t able to hold the small lead, Stevens liked the way his team played down the streak.
“I thought once we did that we were playing really great,” Stevens said. “Dragić hit both shots against Theis, one of them at the very end of the shot clock when he threw it. We did a lot of good things in the last seven minutes. We just shot ourselves in the third.
The Heat broke their zonal defense for much of the second half, allowing just 41 points after the Celtics scored 60 in the first half.
Stevens tilted his cap at the Heat, but felt the Celtics were able to handle the zone better in Game 1.
“It’s a tough area to face,” Stevens said. “We played well against him in Game 1. We played with a much better pace than what we did tonight. So we’re going to go back and take a look at it, figure out if it was a technical thing or a rhythm thing or an execution thing or something not so focused on the important things.
In the 25 games the Celtics played against the Heat’s zone defense in the second half, they made just five shots and committed five turnovers, according to ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry.
The Celtics had 5 shots and 5 turnovers in 25 games against the Heat’s zone defense in the 2nd half.
h / t @ESPNStatsInfo
– Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) September 18, 2020
Tatum was obviously one of those players affected by the zone. He committed five turnovers and saw his shooting attempts cut in half between Game 1 (24) and Game 2 (12) because he couldn’t get any open looks. He said he had to be “ready to shoot” and “be able to shoot defenders no matter what the light of day”.
” I wish that. I knew, ”Tatum said of how to fight the team’s struggles against zone defense. “I have to watch the movie. We need to have better spacing, I think. Often times we just weren’t in the right place. Whether it’s against a man or an area, that’s not going to help. You always have to have the right spacing to create a good movement (and) a good kick. The spacing ruined a good team, a good defensive team.
The Celtics have two days to figure out how to beat the Heat’s zone defense, otherwise they will lose 3-0 after Saturday’s Game 3.
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