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BBNBA: Celtics collapse on and off court, trail Heat 2-0 in ECF



Good afternoon, folks. Pleasantries between teammates were not being exchanged after a tumultuous loss. Let’s talk NBA Bubble.


Celtics blow another big lead, trail Heat 2-0 in Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics forfeited another double-digit lead and it wasn’t even their biggest implosion of a tortuous evening.

The Miami Heat trailed Boston by as many as 17 points in Game 2–just two days after completing a comeback effort in Game 1 that saw them overcome a 14-point 4th quarter hole–but never got too far down on themselves. They were 9-1 in the postseason coming into Thursday night’s game and possessed a seemingly innate ability to thrive with their backs against the wall. Another double-digit deficit wasn’t something they weren’t already familiar with by the third round of the NBA Playoffs. Down by 13 points at the intermission, Bam Adebayo decided it was time to go on the attack. He wasn’t swatting any Jayson Tatum dunk attempts, but he was the main source of offense for a Heat rally that ultimately put them in a commanding 2-0 series lead with a 106-101 win. Miami is now 10-1 in the Bubble playoffs. Here’s how they got there.

Both teams started the night out confident in their jumpers. Miami skirted out to a 13-11 lead not even five minutes in the game, with Adebayo quickly recording three assists during that span, linking up over and over (and over) again with Heat guard Duncan Robinson, who was a scorching hot 4-6 from deep in the first quarter. The back-and-forth affair would continue throughout the period, with Celtics big man Enes Kanter receiving some surprise minutes after sitting out all of Game 1. Coming into the series, I didn’t expect much of Kanter, considering he hadn’t been all that productive in the postseason until this point, but his head coach Brad Stevens found a matchup that would work in Kanter’s favor and the former Wildcat did some heavy damage. He finished the night with nine points and six rebounds, with all but one of those boards coming during his 10-minute spurt in the first half. Kanter connected on all four of his shot attempts, gobbling up every loose ball that came off the glass. His efforts allowed Boston to take a 46-37 advantage by the time he was sent back to the bench.

And Boston didn’t lose any fire once Kanter left the floor. They continued to pile it on Miami, building the lead to 17 points before settling on a 60-47 halftime score.

Coming out of the locker room, Adebayo woke up.

The first-time All-Star made it his personal mission to bring down the backboard during the third quarter. Adebayo went 7-8 from the field in that period for 15 points, nearly outscoring the Celtics (17) himself in that 12 minutes. Five of his buckets came in the form of ferocious dunks on the rim (Boston only made four total field goals in the 3rd) and he energized himself and the Heat to a lethal comeback run. Miami had already trimmed the lead down to 71-67 before Kanter came in for his second stint of the game. Unfortunately for the Turkish big man, this particular matchup against Adebayo didn’t do him any favors. Kanter fouled Adebayo on an and-1 dunk and only managed one rebound in his nearly three-minute spurt before being forced back to the bench. But it was too late for the Celtics, anyways; Miami rattled off a 12-3 run to close the third quarter, outscored Boston 37-17 in the period, and led 84-77 heading into the final 12 minutes.

But in typical playoff fashion, the game still came down to the wire. Boston actually landed a strong counterpunch out of the break, burning off a 15-2 run that put them ahead 94-89 with under five minutes remaining. The Miami offense was struggling heavily until Adebayo and Butler hit a few timely buckets to tie the game at 95 with just three minutes left. That’s when Boston collapsed on–and later off–the court. Heat point guard Gordan Dragic scored five straight points while every Celtic player not named Jaylen Brown failed to make another shot. Brown did drill two key triples to keep the game tight in the closing seconds, and he had a chance to tie the game with 15 ticks on the clock but came up just short. Butler nailed a pair of free throws to ice it away and Miami took a 2-0 lead in the process.

Adebayo’s evening culminated with 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block on 10-16 shooting from the floor. Heat rookie Tyler Herro was rather quiet after a solid Game 1 outing, making just one of his eight shot attempts from beyond the arc. However, he still managed to record 11 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and one steal, making his impact felt even when his jumper wasn’t falling.

Following another unfortunate late-game breakdown, the Celtics turmoil boiled over behind closed doors. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Boston teammates, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, had to be separated by other teammates inside the locker room as emotions and tempers apparently hit their limit. Loud screaming and arguing were reportedly heard from outside of the locker room with objects being thrown in the background. Smart was apparently the “instigator” and got into verbal arguments with assistant coaches, as well. The tension was diffused before anything became physical, according to reports.

“Sources told The Athletic that Smart stormed into the Celtics postgame locker room saying that other players needed to be held accountable and not simply point the finger toward him when things are going wrong. As Smart continued and his voice grew louder, sources said Brown snapped back and shouted that Celtics players must stay together and that their actions must come as a team, not individually, and that Smart needed to cool off. Those sources added Smart had verbal exchanges with a couple of the assistant coaches during the game.” [via The Athletic]

Despite the meltdowns, Boston now must rewire itself for a must-win Game 3 situation on Saturday. Miami is 10-0 in playoff scenarios under head coach Erik Spoelstra when his team goes up 2-0 in a series.

Other notes from the NBA


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Bam Adebayo (MIA)106-101 W @ BOS2110-16 (0-0)104212+835
Tyler Herro (MIA)106-101 W @ BOS114-12 (1-8)95103-132
Enes Kanter (BOS)101-106 L vs. MIA94-4 (0-0)60001+710


9:00 (TNT): Nuggets (Murray) @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo) [Game 1]

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

26 Comments for BBNBA: Celtics collapse on and off court, trail Heat 2-0 in ECF

  1. macattack
    11:41 am September 18, 2020 Permalink

    I’ve been blown away by Miami. All through the regular season, I thought that they looked good and had the potential to be a contender down the road, but not this soon. They just refuse to lose.

  2. UKFanSC
    12:07 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Marcus Smart should thank God he is blessed him with athleticism, because that guy would be serving time somewhere if hoops weren’t there to bail him out. Thug.

    • UKgrad80
      12:31 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Simple he assaulted a fan in the stands while playing at Oklahoma St. he has an anger management problem.

    • runningunnin.454
      2:04 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Yep, Smart has an anger problem; if some fan is insulting you, feel free to give it back to them; but, you can’t go into the stands like he did at Okie State. Not smart (ha ha) really; some “fan” might have a blade, and know how to use it.

  3. stl_cat
    12:15 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Care to elaborate why he’s a thug and would be serving time if he wasn’t playing basketball?

    • UKFanSC
      1:51 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Sure. The guy has been a behavioral problem since high school. Among his exploits was a suspension for hitting Matt Bonner in the nuts, another one for charging into the stands to fight a fan, and just his general demeanor in every interview and public appearance qualify him as a “Thug in good standing”. A fine example to thugs everywhere. Probably including you.

  4. Billy_Clyde
    12:17 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    “UKFAN”SC go cheer for someone else, ignorant a hole

    • UKFanSC
      2:07 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      You’re sorta like Smart (a misnomer if ever there was one)… angry little toad. Why don’t you put on your protest costume and spray paint a statue….. that’ll make you feel better.

  5. UKgrad80
    12:29 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Not surprising about Smart after all he attacked a fan while at Oklahoma State!

  6. stl_cat
    1:00 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Lol so because when he was 19 years old he shoved a guy who talked crap to him, that means he’s a thug and would be locked up if not for basketball. You guys are pathetic and soft as F. I’m sure you’ve never shoved a person before.

    We all know the real reason you think he’s a thug

    • Cletis75
      1:20 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      For me it’s the fact that he has been a pain in the ass no matter where he has been. He yells at coaches, teammates, while having conflicts with everyone. It’s as if he never matured past the playground. He can’t seem to resolve any issues without getting violent in some manner.

    • Section233
      1:26 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Umm yeah if it wasn’t in a basketball arena it’s called assault and he would be arrested. He’s probably resist and scream BLM. You talk about soft. He’s a bitch that starts shit on the court. He is a thug and if it was on the street he’s either get his ass kicked or get arrested.

    • stl_cat
      1:30 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      He has a rough personality for sure. I think it’s going too far for these people to say he’d be locked up though, come on. It’s not like he has some long track record of legal issues where money has bailed him out.

      No one ever says Grayson Allen would be locked up if not for basketball. And he’s committed more ‘violent’ acts on the court than Smart has.

    • 4everUKBlue
      1:31 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Here we go, don’t be a chicken $hit, just say it, you know you’re dying to. Smart’s been trouble his entire basketball career, that’s why he’s a thug, has nothing to do with anything else including what you’re alluding to.

    • stl_cat
      1:31 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Thanks for showing your true colors Section233 lmao. What a pathetic individual

    • runningunnin.454
      3:06 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      stl_cat; the word thug has no racial connotation. It simply means a violent person. Once upon a time, it was used to describe Italian-American mobsters.
      I really hate when someone uses unsubstantiated polysemy to put words into another’s mouth.

    • 4everUKBlue
      3:54 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Oops, I guess stl_cat doesn’t know how to look up the definition of a word….nice try though.

  7. kentuckybackupplayer
    1:26 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    its good to have a player on your team that has elephant balls.

    • UKFanSC
      2:02 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

      Yes….. but Smart punches people in the balls….. not so desirable

  8. Section233
    1:27 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Morris. Smart. Beverly. They’re all the same trying to be like Rodman and Artest

  9. Section233
    1:32 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Webster: thug; a violent or British criminal or bully. He’s literally the definition

  10. Section233
    1:33 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink


  11. Section233
    1:33 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Anyway Heat up 2-0. Herro and Bam are killin it

  12. UKFanSC
    2:33 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    Last post on this……. The term thug, is not unique to black men. It is a term used to describe British, criminal, rough individuals whose behavior is unacceptable to the vast majority of society. If that individual happens to be black, so be it. But there are many white thugs as well and Latino thugs and Chinese thugs. Quit trying to force everything into a racial discussion.

    • UKFanSC
      2:34 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink


  13. bigcat68
    3:41 pm September 18, 2020 Permalink

    He’s a punk. Period.