Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Irving, though, apparently wasn’t satisfied with his performance, so he went back to the AmericanAirlines Arena floor after the game to get some more shots up.
“That’s my job, right? So it’s always good to get some extra work after a tough loss,” Irving said afterwards. “I just wanted to get some extra shots, feel good going into the next game. We’re staying over in Miami, so I’d rather be in here than be out in Miami right now.”
Like a lot of basketball players, the court can be a sanctuary, sometimes from the more serious things in life, and sometimes just as a place to let bad nights go.
“I just want to feel good about it,” he said. “It’s just good to get some shots up, just release some stress a little bit. After a tough loss off a back-to-back, it’s just good to see a shot go in a little bit. It’s just therapeutic.”
The Celtics stunk last night. There’s no two ways about it. No possible way to put an alternate spin on things.
They stunk. They played poorly, looked bad, and got their south end handed to them in a basket by a mediocre Miami team.
However, all that’s in the past. There’s nothing they can do about that now. The question they have to answer–and have to answer differently than they have earlier in the season. Are they going to let a crappy night carry over to their next game?
The team had–up to this point–some things figured out. They were clicking, they rolled Indiana–a team just ahead of them in the standings, and then they flew down to Miami and dropped the proverbial turd in the metaphorical punch bowl. But, again, that’s in the past. They’ve got today off, and their next game is a short hop away in Orlando, and I’m curious which Celtics team we’re going to see tomorrow night. Will it be the team that made beautiful basketball look effortless against the Pacers? Or will it be the team that couldn’t find its rear-end with two hands and a flashlight last night?
Page 2: Where the guys were on edge last night
The incident occurred with 7:12 remaining in the second quarter and, a short time before the stoppage, it appeared Morris was visibly upset and clapped in the direction of Brown after Boston’s 22-year-old swingman was late getting back on defense on a play that Miami took advantage of numbers to generate an easy layup.
Marcus Morris has been one of this season’s pleasant surprises. A guy who was perhaps not as much of a doofus as his brother, but still apparently a doofus nonetheless, ended up on the Celtics at the start of last season more or less as a means of clearing salary. I was, at the time, not impressed that the Celtics had acquired a guy who was going to miss a sizable chunk of the preseason because he was facing felony charges in an Arizona courtroom. However, landing with a stable franchise seems to have rejuvenated Marcus. He had a good season in 2018, and he’s having an extraordinary one this year–earning consideration as a coach’s pick for the All Star game.
Jaylen Brown is, well, he’s not having a good year. He appeared to be turning the corner over the past few weeks, but was definitely not having a good night against Miami. He finished up with two points over barely a quarter’s worth of action.
However, I wouldn’t read too much into the benching. Stevens subbed Brown out after a defensive lapse, which is SOP for the coach. And I wouldn’t try to construe Stevens’ decision to sit Brown for the rest of the second quarter and most of the third as punishment. Stevens’ job, during a game, is to try to win that game, not to discipline players, and it was clear by the time Brown was subbed out that he wasn’t going to be an asset for the team.
At the same time, Brown obviously cares about winning, and I’m confident that he’s eventually going to get himself back on track.
Also, the player that separated Morris and Brown was none other than Marcus Smart.
After Smart lost it in that preseason game against the Cavs, I wouldn’t be surprised if Stevens and/or Ainge sat the kid down and reminded him that he’s the senior Celtic now. He’s been a very different player since, doing a much better job keeping his aggression under control, and playing a role as a team leader last night.
Finally: Welcome to the big time, rook.
The rest of the links
MassLive: Boston Celtics draft 2019: As Kings, Grizzlies picks rise in value, Celtics have a variety of prospects to watch | Boston Celtics fall to Miami Heat 115-99: Dwyane Wade burns the Celtics (again), plus 10 things we learned | Brad Stevens praises Boston Celtics rookie Robert Williams for giving them a chance to win | Video: Marcus Morris shoves Jaylen Brown during Boston Celtics-Miami Heat game | Miami Heat 115 – Boston Celtics 99: Vintage Dwyane Wade helps hold off Boston’s comeback
Boston Herald: Celtics notebook: Schedule adjustments about time