By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Collapsing in brutal fashion in back-to-back postseason games, and finding themselves down 2-0 to the Miami Heat in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals, the temperature in the Celtics’ locker room was understandably hot after Game 2.
But things escalated with a reported shouting match involving the Celtics’ Marcus Smart, and with a scene that was described by the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn as a team “imploding.” Washburn and others on the scene also noted that it sounded as if things were being thrown around within the C’s locker room.
And when Smart eventually came out of the room, he was quoted as saying, “y’all on that bullshit,” according to Washburn.
The outburst quickly became the talk of the Celtics’ postgame availabilities.
Boston guard Kemba Walker, who rebounded from a terrible Game 1 showing, downplayed the outburst and said there was nothing to talk about. And Jayson Tatum opted to keep things within the C’s locker room, saying they’re not supposed to talk about things that happen within the privacy of their locker room.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens chalked it up to the competitive nature of a prideful team.
“Guys were emotional after a hard game, a hard loss,” said Stevens.
Jaylen Brown, meanwhile, embraced the fiery postgame as just part of the Marcus Smart experience, and what makes him such a strong leader within the Celtic room.
“That’s why we love [Smart],” Jaylen Brown said. “He plays with passion, he’s full of fire, and that’s what I love about him most, to be honest. He has that desire and that will, and we need him to continue to have that.”
You can look at it as a ‘team imploding’ if you’d like, but to Brown’s point, isn’t it almost good that this time is having a fight right now? I mean, it’s a sign of life. And after a game that had you wondering if this team had a pulse at all. Perhaps this team got too comfortable after bumping the defending champions and didn’t take the Heat as seriously as they should have.
It’s certainly looked like that at certain points through the first two games of this series. And the Celtics’ lack of fight in the fourth quarter, and after working so hard to erase a deficit, was downright baffling.
If the Celtics were going to call each other now, were they ever going to?
This was as good a time as any for Smart to rattle some cages and throw some chairs. (The good news: Smart didn’t end up breaking his hand by punching a picture frame this time around.) And its potential impact wasn’t lost on Brown.
“I love him for it,” Brown said. “We’ve got to get ready to come back, take that same fire and add it to Game 3.”
The Celtics will look to cut their series deficit in half in Saturday night’s Game 3.