Celtics vs Hawks, Round 1 Discussion

bsan34

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No, most anyone Celtics fan who watched that game recognizes for what it is: a miserable, inexcusable loss by a team that played entitled, terrible basketball. They deserve the game 7 they'll most likely have to deal with now.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Well…that is not what I was aiming for in the last six minutes of this game.

Bad (really, nonexistent) coaching.

Bad decisions on offense.

Lethargic defense.

Tatum playing small.

Jaylen, best player rest of game, disappeared late

Multiple awful lazy turnovers

They earned that loss and if they play many more quarters like that they will be out of this altogether. So I hope they realize that and amp up the intensity a couple notches. I want to hear that someone broke somethino in the locker room after this one.
 

koufax32

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The more I watch this team the more I learn to appreciate the heartless assassin attitude that made the best the best. Man I wish someone would get into teammates’ faces and scream “this ends right now” in games like this. How many times did they have a foot on ATL’s throat and then Tatum decides to hold and iso?

Congrats to Philly tonight. GJGE boys.
 

Red Averages

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I’m just glad Blake Griffin was able to log meaningful minutes in a close out game where the team let up 37 in the last quarter and choked an easy series win and easy series start vs Philly. Way to set the standard Coach.

This team has played down to competition all year and it starts at the top. Inexcusable game by the coach and Tatum.
 

Strike4

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k-factory

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The pattern that seems to repeat is they get a lead and sit on it rather than keeping up an attack. They walk the ball up, piss away more than half the clock and then scramble for a bad shot or fall into a dumb turnover.
That’s a sign of an immature team and one would think with such a wealth of experience on this team that wouldn’t happen but here we are.
 

Cellar-Door

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I’m just glad Blake Griffin was able to log meaningful minutes in a close out game where the team let up 37 in the last quarter and choked an easy series win and easy series start vs Philly. Way to set the standard Coach.
He entered the game with the Celtics up 8, he left ..... with the Celtics up 8.

They lost this game because their best players shit themselves in the last 4 minutes...
Here are the offensive possessions in that time:
Tatum Turnover
Smart Turnover
TL dunk/TL missed FT (btw, they don't go 7/13 they win, Jaylen's 1/5 particularly ugly)
Smart Turnover (Tatum tech on this possession)
Brown Turnover
2 misses
TL dunk
White FTs.
 

Ed Hillel

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I’m not blaming the coach. This is the third coach we’ve said this about this core. It’s a mental block from your key players. They clam up and hope the clock runs out before they get caught.
 

NomarsFool

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The walking the ball up, playing panicked on offense towards the end, and I think subbing Smart in for White were all really bad moves. I know it was much earlier in the game, but that Tatum brick from 4 feet behind the line was stupid when the Celtics were getting to the rim whenever they wanted
 
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I’m not blaming the coach. This is the third coach we’ve said this about this core.
I'm no fan of Joe M --- but this is absolutely correct.

No more excuses for Tatum...we have to be objective and call it out.

He's pissing and shitting himself in consequential post-season instances.

If anyone refuses to see that, I don't know what to say.
 

Red Averages

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He entered the game with the Celtics up 8, he left ..... with the Celtics up 8.

They lost this game because their best players shit themselves in the last 4 minutes...
Here are the offensive possessions in that time:
Tatum Turnover
Smart Turnover
TL dunk/TL missed FT (btw, they don't go 7/13 they win, Jaylen's 1/5 particularly ugly)
Smart Turnover (Tatum tech on this possession)
Brown Turnover
2 misses
TL dunk
White FTs.
Understood.

counterpoint: you’re up 8 in Game 5 at home with a chance to put the series away do you:

- Step on the gas and win by 15 to send a statemrnt
- Send in the 10th player on the bench and let the opposing team retain some hope / effort

The team relaxed and didn’t take it seriously and paid the price. Now they’ve blown a golden opportunity for round 2, forced extra travel and allowed the Hawks to think they have a chance in the series.
 

Devizier

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I’m not blaming the coach. This is the third coach we’ve said this about this core. It’s a mental block from your key players. They clam up and hope the clock runs out before they get caught.
I’m here. Can’t tighten up like that. Play your game.
 

koufax32

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My first thought when Blake came in was “Good. Maybe he can throw himself out n the floor for a loose ball a couple times and fire this team up.” They were sleepwalking at that point, so I can kind of see this as a motivation.
 

Auger34

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The walking the ball up, playing panicked on offense towards the end, and I think subbing Smart in for White were all really bad moves. I know it was much earlier in the game, but that Tatum brick from 4 feet behind the line was stupid when the Celtics were getting to the rim whenever they wanted
All of these thing were maddening in real time but I thought there was no way they’d lose the game. Now that they’ve lost, it’s fucking infuriating.


The three you mentioned. Jayson not playing with pace. Jayson’s lazy passes all game. Rob’s missed lay up. Blake Griffin trying to dunk over Okongwu like he was a fucking Kia and Blake could still dunk. 4 missed free throws by Jaylen. Jayson’s technical foul.

It seemed like the coaches and/or Tatum spent the 4th trying to get himself into a rhythm. That looked like what we saw. Walking the ball up court for ISOs or calling for a pick and trying to take his defender off the dribble. It failed miserably. Then by the time they realize that they need to go back to Jaylen he’s basically been iced out and is out of rhythm.

You can criticize Mazzulla for decisions that he made that were suboptimal. That’s fair and a contributing factor. Jaylen went 1-5 from the line definitely contributed. But the main reason they lost that game, by a goddamn mile, is that their best player played checked out, disengaged basketball and peed down his leg the entirety of a close out game at home.
 

Cellar-Door

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Understood.

counterpoint: you’re up 8 in Game 5 at home with a chance to put the series away do you:

- Step on the gas and win by 15 to send a statemrnt
- Send in the 10th player on the bench and let the opposing team retain some hope / effort

The team relaxed and didn’t take it seriously and paid the price. Now they’ve blown a golden opportunity for round 2, forced extra travel and allowed the Hawks to think they have a chance in the series.
Some bench guys need to play, and Joe was looking for a big. Honestly I thought he played fine too, they got up 13 for much of the time, if an out of bounds happens a bit earlier he probably leaves with a 13 point lead.

I agree the team relaxed, but I don't think it's because Joe added one bench big to grab Al and TL more rest in the 4th to close strong. I think it's because that's what this team's best players constantly do. They lack something there. Smart, Brown and Tatum just don't bring it consistently when they think they're going to win. All 3 get lazy and heroball centric on offense, and Jaylen in particular stops playing hard on D (though honestly he has been lazy on D since game 3).
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Tatum is going to catch a lot of well-deserved shit in the media for that performance. Hopefully he responds because that they’re not winning anything if he continues to play like that on any given night. The difference between him and Jimmy Butler last night was very striking. Not saying that he needs to go for 56 and single-handedly win every game, be he at least needs to be a little bit assertive when he’s needed late.
 

Euclis20

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I’m not blaming the coach. This is the third coach we’ve said this about this core. It’s a mental block from your key players. They clam up and hope the clock runs out before they get caught.
To fuck up a game like that, there's plenty of blame to go around. Tatum had a terrible game complete with multiple bad decisions and a brutal technical foul, Smart made multiple stupid plays down the stretch, while Joe M:

-Put in the 12th man in a closeout playoff game in the 4th quarter with a single digit lead. Kudos to Blake I guess for helping keep his +/- even, but why the fuck would you bring him in now? If you want to send the message to your team to buckle down and close it out, putting in the human victory cigar is NOT the right move. This was mindblowing.
-Left Smart in to make multiple bad plays, again and again. This has happened to previous versions of this team, but not with Malcolm Brogdon on the bench (and having a pretty strong game).
-Failed to call timeout (when they had one to burn!) as the team blew an 8 point lead and had 4 turnovers in 5 possessions. Give the team a minute to breath, get the ball back in Brown's hands, maybe get Brogdon back into the game. Most of those turnovers were lazy, not truly forced by Atlanta. This team was running scared, and just because we've seen it before doesn't let the current HC off the hook.

It's not [just] Joe's fault they lost, but he did fuck all to help them win. All year we heard how he liked to let the team play and figure things out on their own, which while an admirable goal, had everyone wondering if he'd actually step in to keep them from blowing a game that actually counted. Here we are, and we've got our answer.
 

Ed Hillel

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If we want to go coaching, I think it’s probably time to acknowledge White is just a better option than Smart. Smart should not be handling the ball at all in these situations, and probably doesn’t need to be on the floor generally late, unless the matchups on D make sense.
 

lars10

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I realize that the replies to this are all going to castigate me for not recognizing that the Celtics played a great game, left it all on the court, just lost because Atlanta got lucky.

But that is all bullshit.

They had the game in hand and they collapsed like a house of cards late in the 4th quarter.

For whatever reason, this is team that is less than the sum of its parts.

I don't know what the problem is, there are lots of candidates: coaching, players, mix of both.

But this is a team that cannot be trusted to close out a series 1) on their home court, 2) against the worst team to make the playoffs, 3) even though that team was missing one of its top two players.

An absolute embarassment.
View: https://twitter.com/John_Karalis/status/1651042288913506305?s=20

John Karalis: Absolute embarrassment of a loss. The day after Tatum admitted they got comfortable and let series go too long, they got comfortable and let this series go too long.
You finally earn your ignore
 

OnTheBlack

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Joe Mazzula’s terse responses and relationship with the media only works when they are winning. When you blow games and blow off questions it’s not a quirky thing from the coach, it’s arrogance, and the team plays with arrogance and complacency. Such toxic traits in this team. Makes them hard to root for to be honest.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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If we want to go coaching, I think it’s probably time to acknowledge White is just a better option than Smart. Smart should not be handling the ball at all in these situations, and probably doesn’t need to be on the floor generally late, unless the matchups on D make sense.
I think Joe has shown that he will 100% have this team go down in flames before he keeps Marcus off the court for D White.
 

Ed Hillel

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I think Joe has shown that he will 100% have this team go down in flames before he keeps Marcus off the court for D White.
White and Brogdon both played more minutes than Smart, so he must understand it to some extent. Not sure why he needs to be in there at the end anymore.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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To fuck up a game like that, there's plenty of blame to go around. Tatum had a terrible game complete with multiple bad decisions and a brutal technical foul, Smart made multiple stupid plays down the stretch, while Joe M:

-Put in the 12th man in a closeout playoff game in the 4th quarter with a single digit lead. Kudos to Blake I guess for helping keep his +/- even, but why the fuck would you bring him in now? If you want to send the message to your team to buckle down and close it out, putting in the human victory cigar is NOT the right move. This was mindblowing.
-Left Smart in to make multiple bad plays, again and again. This has happened to previous versions of this team, but not with Malcolm Brogdon on the bench (and having a pretty strong game).
-Failed to call timeout (when they had one to burn!) as the team blew an 8 point lead and had 4 turnovers in 5 possessions. Give the team a minute to breath, get the ball back in Brown's hands, maybe get Brogdon back into the game. Most of those turnovers were lazy, not truly forced by Atlanta. This team was running scared, and just because we've seen it before doesn't let the current HC off the hook.

It's not [just] Joe's fault they lost, but he did fuck all to help them win. All year we heard how he liked to let the team play and figure things out on their own, which while an admirable goal, had everyone wondering if he'd actually step in to keep them from blowing a game that actually counted. Here we are, and we've got our answer.
The ATO on the last possession was awful too. Somehow couldn’t run something to get either Tatum or Brown open which led to dumping it to Al in the post and an easy swat OOB.
 

Red Averages

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That was a horrific game and a bad omen.


And yet….

The hawks shot 46% from 3 to the Celtics 31% (21 point 3 point advantage), the Celtics best player laid an egg, their coach proved he’s an amateur, the Celtics worst player played 6 minutes in the 4th quarter, the team led by double digits in the 4th and the Hawks won on a 3 with less than 2 seconds left.

Celtics by 15 in game 6. We’re onto Atlanta.
 

radsoxfan

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From my perspective, this team has 7 starters, 2 stars, and 2 bigs.

I don't think there is way for Mazzulla to mess up too badly unless he benches Tatum/Brown or plays no bigs.

Marcus made a couple terrible decisions. They all did. And Tatum played poorly. It's as simple as that.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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White and Brogdon both played more minutes than Smart, so he must understand it to some extent. Not sure why he needs to be in there at the end anymore.
I honestly think he's afraid of ruffling his feathers. His long history of putting it all on the line for the Celtics has bought him more rope than an Everest expedition. It is what it is.
 

OurF'ingCity

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That was a horrific game and a bad omen.


And yet….

The hawks shot 46% from 3 to the Celtics 31% (21 point 3 point advantage), the Celtics best player laid an egg, their coach proved he’s an amateur, the Celtics worst player played 6 minutes in the 4th quarter, the team led by double digits in the 4th and the Hawks won on a 3 with less than 2 seconds left.

Celtics by 15 in game 6. We’re onto Atlanta.
On the other hand, the Hawks' second-best (maybe best depending on the game) player will be back.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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On the other hand, the Hawks' second-best (maybe best depending on the game) player will be back.
I sell Dejounte Murray making any difference whatsoever. The Celtics are so objectively better than Atlanta with or without him it shouldn’t matter whether he plays or not. If Dejounte Murray is the difference between closing it out and a Game 7 then I will truly by baffled by this team.
 

Auger34

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I just saw the Tatum technical foul and holy fucking shit…..what a disgustingly awful call to make in that situation. I am dumbfounded that with less than 2 minutes left, in a close game, they made that call. Awful
 

lars10

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I just saw the Tatum technical foul and holy fucking shit…..what a disgustingly awful call to make in that situation. I am dumbfounded that with less than 2 minutes left, in a close game, they made that call. Awful
the level at which Tatum gets T's verse what others have to do is downright comical. He's basically not allowed to show any excess emotion at all.
 

timelysarcasm

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Joe Mazzula’s terse responses and relationship with the media only works when they are winning. When you blow games and blow off questions it’s not a quirky thing from the coach, it’s arrogance, and the team plays with arrogance and complacency. Such toxic traits in this team. Makes them hard to root for to be honest.
This was just as moronic when you posted it in the game thread - and that's where it should have stayed. Who gives a flapping fuck about Mazzulla's relationship with the media?

Tatum was a complete and utter no show tonight, and that is truly disappointing. 1-11 from 3 with a brutal giveaway late (Marcus chipped in two there), a big part of this L lands at his feet. We just had to make a bucket or two at the end there and it was turnovers and missed free throws galore. Smart is not instilling confidence with his turnovers and awful awareness in crunch time, either.
 
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GeorgeCostanza

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I just saw the Tatum technical foul and holy fucking shit…..what a disgustingly awful call to make in that situation. I am dumbfounded that with less than 2 minutes left, in a close game, they made that call. Awful
awful call at any time in any game. We see guys swat the ball after a whistle 5 times a game at least. But shame on the celts for letting the game get to a point where that mattered.
 

benhogan

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Joe Mazzula’s terse responses and relationship with the media only works when they are winning. When you blow games and blow off questions it’s not a quirky thing from the coach, it’s arrogance, and the team plays with arrogance and complacency. Such toxic traits in this team. Makes them hard to root for to be honest.
where was Joe terse and what questions did he blow off? He answered every single question in full after a tough loss.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5KGIu232IE
 

TripleOT

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6:27 remaining, JT gets the defensive rebound, walks it up, Celtics up 10.

In trying to manage possessions instead of just playing your free flowing offense, you allow teams to set their defense with all five defenders facing forward in position. JT set up teammates on two consecutive possessions, then he missed an iso three, and the fuckup fest was on, with turnovers, bad shots etc. The only two buckets the rest of the way was a Rob dunk on a Tatum drive and dish, and a Rob putback. D White had two FTs.

ATL outscored Boston 23-11 after JT took the air out of the ball.


This team didn’t learn from last year, when they fumbled away games doing the exact same thing.
 

m0ckduck

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Just yesterday, I was guffawing over the Bucks collapse— blowing a 12 point lead in the final 6 min— but this was honestly much worse. At least the Bucks ran their offense. They just fell victim to an incandescent performance by a great player, and on the road at that. The Celtics looked like they didn't want to be there. In 40 years of watching basketball, that's as gutless a closeout performance as I can remember seeing in a big game.
 
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kazuneko

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I just saw the Tatum technical foul and holy fucking shit…..what a disgustingly awful call to make in that situation. I am dumbfounded that with less than 2 minutes left, in a close game, they made that call. Awful
Yeah, that was a joke. The NBA really needs to reign in their referees. No one buys tickets or stays up late to watch them decide games. And this is worse than a missed foul call, because its not because he missed the play but instead that, for some reason, he felt it was important to assert his authority at that key moment. Fuck that guy. I mean, Jesus, when I was growing up it seemed like you needed to punch someone to get a technical. Nowadays you look sideways at these delicate flowers that the NBA hires to ref these games and it’s 1 point for the opposing team..
 

lovegtm

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It's unbelievable to me that either Mazzulla isn't saying "stop walking it up" with 7 minutes to go, or (maybe worse) that he *is* saying it and they just don't listen.

That was one of the worst 4th Q losses (on an effort basis) I've seen from a team in my life.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Another point on Mazzulla: Trae Young was terrible in the first 2 games, a real liability, before improving in game 3 and then taking another step in games 5 and 6. Part of what I read into that is that The Hawks made some adjustements and Mazzulla cannot keep up with that and make his own counteradjustments. I'm speculating on this, but my gut feeling is that in terms of in game and in series decision making (not the entiirety of a a coaches job), he's just going to be a liability.

I also beginning to think that Tatum would rather walk the ball up himself and lose in late game situations than play an off ball role and win. And, more broadly, that this Celtic team has a pecking order, White and Brigdon and #6 and #7 on it, and the team is going to lose with the top 5 before it tries to win with anyone else.

And, Mazzulla is unable to recognize or unwiling to try to change a slow motion trainwreck develping right in front of his eyes.

An embarassing exit from this year's playoffs would almost force Stevens to make some significant moves.
 

benhogan

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Joe needs to go situational. Brogdon in for Smart on offense at the end.
He needs to play his best players the most minutes. White has to play over 31 minutes.
He needs to let White & Brogdon QB the offense in late/tight and put the JAYs in a position to succeed
 

Silverdude2167

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Another point on Mazzulla: Trae Young was terrible in the first 2 games, a real liability, before improving in game 3 and then taking another step in games 5 and 6. Part of what I read into that is that The Hawks made some adjustements and Mazzulla cannot keep up with that and make his own counteradjustments. I'm speculating on this, but my gut feeling is that in terms of in game and in series decision making (not the entiirety of a a coaches job), he's just going to be a liability.

I also beginning to think that Tatum would rather walk the ball up himself and lose in late game situations than play an off ball role and win. And, more broadly, that this Celtic team has a pecking order, White and Brigdon and #6 and #7 on it, and the team is going to lose with the top 5 before it tries to win with anyone else.

And, Mazzulla is unable to recognize or unwiling to try to change a slow motion trainwreck develping right in front of his eyes.

An embarassing exit from this year's playoffs would almost force Stevens to make some significant moves.
The Celtics were up by 10 with 5 minutes left. When did this adjustment that Mazzulla failed to counteract occur? Because it sure seems like the team was playing fine till they fell apart in the final 5 minutes.

And are you concerned about an embarrassing exit? What series are you watching? I am annoyed they have not wrapped this up, but if they did not let their foot off the gas this series would be over.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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And are you concerned about an embarrassing exit? What series are you watching? I am annoyed they have not wrapped this up, but if they did not let their foot off the gas this series would be over.
Hopefully the Cs close out the series on Thursday but this is the NBA and maybe ATL shoots even better the next 2 games and the Cs are in trouble. But more importantly, while the Cs are generally very good, I d9n't think they are so good that they can keep handing opponents multiple games in multiple series and still win a championship.

Maybe the Cs will figure out that if they slow the pave down and the ball doesn't move, they are not a very good team. That's the team that was .500 in December 2021.
 

jezza1918

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That was as annoyed as I’ve been in awhile watching a Celtics game. Just about everyone gagged in various ways…those back to back Tatum/smart turnovers had me yell loud enough that I woke the dog up. Needed a double dose of Benadryl to fall asleep. All that said, I was calmer when I watched the suns highlights this morning. They ultimately got the result but they were up 15 with about 5:30 left and 4 minutes later the clips had the ball down 2. So in the span of two nights you have Giannis and the bucks blowing a 12 point lead down the stretch (I’d argue given circumstances the bucks choke was worse than the Cs given it was a borderline must win), the Celtics blowing a 13 point lead, and the suns very nearly blowing a 15 point lead.
I’m not trying to excuse the celts so much as pacify myself by realizing the three teams with the best title odds heading into the playoffs all had extremely sh*tty close out efforts in the span of about 26 hours.

edit: just to add the clips suns context, ayton hits a layup to go up 128-113 with 5:38 to go; clips miss a shot and suns grab rebound. So they are Up 15 with 5:18 and the ball…over next 3:20 clips go on a 17-4. Down 2 batum misses a 3, suns grab board but booker commits a turnover. So clips have ball again down only 2 but they turn it over)…
 
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