Celtics stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown fail to ship in must-win Recreation 3: ‘It was simply embarrassing’

MIAMI — Greater than half-hour after the last word buzzer sounded, Jaylen Brown took a seat at his locker. He had merely taken a bathe, and was solely in a towel. The Celtics All-Star was nonetheless attempting to course of what had merely occurred. He sat there, staring into the abyss. He shook his head, nonetheless in frustration.

Moments later, he picked himself up, obtained dressed and took the stroll to the visitors’ podium contained within the Kaseya Heart, the place he would try to make clear the devastation he merely expert, a 128-102 loss to the Warmth that put the Celtics in a stunning 3-0 assortment hole throughout the Jap Convention Finals.

However Brown, on a regular basis thoughtful in his phrases, struggled with discover ways to describe his feelings. He and the Celtics’ satisfaction had been questioned. It regarded like that that they had cease. There was a clear disconnect on the courtroom. Brown paused for better than 5 seconds after the first question.

“I don’t even know the place to start out,” Brown began.

“An apparent letdown. I really feel like we let our fan base, group down, we let ourselves down, and it was collective. We might level fingers, however in actuality, it was simply embarrassing.”

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla took full accountability for Sunday’s putrid loss, nonetheless the blame goes all through. And when it comes to those who carried out, Brown and Jayson Tatum shoulder the bear of the obligation for an inexcusable no-show. The Celtics needed their two All-NBA stars to ship on Sunday night. They every received right here painfully fast.

Joe Mazzulla takes blame for Celtics’ horrid Recreation 3 loss, admits defensive id has been misplaced

Tatum scored 14 components on 6-for-18 taking photos, along with 1-for-7 from prolonged range. Brown, after a scorching opening six minutes, received right here crashing once more to earth. He accomplished with merely 12 components on 6-for-17 taking photos with an 0-for-7 mark from 3-point land, along with an air-ball on a wide-open look that said all of it. Each had been unhealthy defensively. Neither carried out throughout the fourth quarter.

Collectively, the quote-unquote most interesting duo throughout the NBA, had been outplayed by a bunch of castoffs merely participating in increased and more durable than them. Gabe Vincent – undrafted in 2018 – outscored Tatum and Brown blended with 29 components. The Celtics continued to be incapable of stopping Caleb Martin, who had 22 components on 7-for-11 taking photos. Duncan Robinson, moreover undrafted, scored 22 components on 5 3-pointers.

“We struggled to get stops, however to their credit score, they’re taking part in properly above their means,” Brown said. “They’re balling proper now. I’ve received to offer them respect, Gabe Vincent, Martin, (Max) Strus, Duncan Robinson, guys that we should always have the ability to hold underneath management are taking part in their ass off.”

Keep in mind when Tatum scored 51 components in an epic Recreation 7 effectivity in opposition to the 76ers to ship the Celtics to the Jap Convention Finals? It was solely remaining Sunday. It looks like mild years prior to now.

Nobody will don’t forget that effectivity fondly if that’s how he and the Celtics exit. It’ll merely be a footnote on an embarrassing end. He and the Celtics don’t have any options for the more durable, meaner, additional impressed Warmth.

For a third consecutive recreation on this assortment, Tatum didn’t make a shot throughout the fourth quarter. This time it’s on account of he didn’t play in it. The recreation was over. One additional and the season may be, too.

“I didn’t shoot the ball properly in any respect tonight,” Tatum said. “However I really feel we obtained some open appears to be, coming off the pick-and-roll, getting doubled, hitting extreme, participating in four-on-three. We merely didn’t shoot the ball successfully the least bit. We couldn’t hit one thing.

“Give them credit score. They’re a very good defensive staff. They play onerous, they impart. However we had a whole lot of open seems to be tonight that we usually make.”

The Celtics weren’t ready, they normally rolled over throughout the third quarter. How does this happen throughout the Jap Convention Finals?

The fact is, the warning indicators have been there in plain sight all alongside. Of their epic Recreation 5 meltdown in opposition to the Hawks. Of their Recreation 1 loss to the 76ers, who didn’t have MVP Joel Embiid. Of their Recreation 5 dwelling no-show in opposition to the Sixers. The Celtics, barely, had been alright to cowl up their imperfections throughout the assortment.

Now, the Warmth are exposing them for who they’re absolutely.

“Simply being clear, it’s unlucky,” Tatum said of how they lose a recreation of this magnitude like they did on Sunday. “We clearly wished to return out and perform increased, play increased, have a definite remaining consequence, or not lower than give ourselves a chance. You recognize, it’s sturdy. For regardless of function, we didn’t have it tonight.

“At this level of the season, you don’t need to say that, however that’s on us. As a unit, we didn’t play properly.”

Tatum said he deleted Twitter from his phone sooner than the playoffs began, so he hasn’t seen any of the floor noise and commentary surrounding the Celtics since sooner than Recreation 1 in opposition to the Hawks. It may be a wise idea to take care of it which means after Sunday’s embarrassment. His functionality to be a champion may be questioned. So will the Celtics’ future.

From the floor, there’s not quite a bit optimism for a comeback. This Celtics workforce doesn’t look to have the make-up to be the first workforce in NBA historic previous to beat a 3-0 assortment deficit. However even after they’ll’t make historic previous, they know they’ll’t exit like this.

“We’ve simply received to have some satisfaction, bounce again, and simply be higher come Tuesday,” Tatum said.

“We’ve simply received to come back out and play basketball,” Brown said. “Come out with a super mentality, come out and have some satisfaction about your self, come out and have some satisfaction about who you take half in for, have some satisfaction about regardless of and easily come out and play basketball. …

“I contemplate we’re capable of win the next one, so we have now merely obtained to return out and play. …

“The sequence isn’t over but. It’s trying unhealthy, however you come out, have some satisfaction about your self and put your finest foot ahead.”

Originally posted 2023-05-22 09:30:57.