So here is a prediction for what is going to happen next: the Celtics are going to tell us that there are no issues. They are going to tell us that everything is fine. They’re going to tell us that when Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown had to be separated during a timeout they were just competitive guys, boys being boys.
I’m not buying it.
One night after turning in arguably their best performance of the season in a 135-108 dismantling of the Indiana Pacers, the Celtics went to Miami last night and dropped a 115-99 decision to the Heat. They trailed by as many as 26. And during a second-quarter timeout, thanks to a both a fan sitting courtside and the Twitter account of Bleacher Report, this happened:
So you tell me, how does a team go from winning four straight, culminating in arguably its best win of the season, to frustration so palpable that a veteran player pushes a younger one?
The answer: because the Celtics issues are ongoing and because they are very real.
According to Adam Himmelsbach of the Globe, Morris had chastised Brown on the floor roughly a minute or two earlier. Brown missed a pair of layups on the offensive end and then appears to loaf back on defense, prompting Morris to bark at him after the Heat scored a basket in transition. Pay attention to both players and keep a particular eye on the very end of this sequence:
Now, are we making too much of all this? Maybe, maybe not. The Celtics this season appear to have a fracture – hairline or otherwise – between some of the young players and some of the more veteran ones. Brown, in particular, has sounded awfully cocky over the past several months, all but guaranteeing the Celtics would be in the finals and then predicting he would have several championship rings over the next several years. Meanwhile, the Celtics have underachieved in 2018-19.
Meanwhile, Morris has been one of the most consistent performers on the team and Brown has been one of the more disappointing, even if his play had improved of late.
You be the judge, but it doesn’t feel like anything is entirely fixed yet.