Your Morning Dump… Insult, injury and incompetence in a loss to the Blazers

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… -r1a1highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

There’s a lot to unpack from last night’s frustrating loss to Portland. Let’s start with the health status of our franchise cornerstone players.

Brown, who nearly missed this game because of right ankle pain, appeared to twist it even more as he stepped on Tatum’s foot. Both players collapsed to the floor in front of coach Brad Stevens.

Brown needed the help of two teammates as he hopped to the locker room without putting any weight on his right leg. Tatum had an obvious limp as he followed soon after. Later, Tatum said he believed that he would be OK. But the status of Brown was less clear.

Stevens said there did not appear to be swelling yet, but acknowledged that it could happen overnight. When asked about Brown’s condition, Tatum said simply: “I hope he’s all right.”

I’m guessing Jaylen Brown will miss a few games at a minimum, as the Celtics are typically uber-cautious. But for the love of God, can we end this cursed season? Whenever this team appears to have turned a corner, there’s always something more ominous lurking around the next one.

The Celtics didn’t play a perfect game, but they were not helped by the officials. The most egregious whistle came midway through the 4th after Tristan Thompson slammed home a rebound. The offensive goaltending call was a mistake compounded by an even worse one:

Stevens said after the game that he was told he didn’t challenge the Thompson call in time — something referee Sean Wright, the crew chief for Sunday night’s game, confirmed in a postgame interview with a pool reporter.

“During live play, the ball was touched by Thompson, and it was deemed to be in the cylinder at that time,” Wright said, in explaining why the call was made.

“The challenging team must call a legal timeout and signal for a coach’s challenge. When Coach Stevens calls a timeout, the ball was already put in play with Portland having possession, therefore we could not grant Boston a timeout.”

And here’s your evidence proving the officials are lying their asses off:

Lastly, Marcus Smart was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.

I’m sorry, but that is intentional. It’s likely Smart, who was coming off a one-game suspension for directing threatening language at an official, is going to miss another game. Unacceptable behavior from a veteran “leader” when the team is fighting for playoff positioning.

My only gripe with this call is that it took the officials six minutes to make their decision!

“I hate it,” Jayson Tatum said of the extended review. “I think it throws the rhythm of the game off. I’m not necessarily a fan of reviews and challenging plays. But I guess it’s just a part of the game now. But it throws off the rhythm of the game, especially in those late parts of the game.”

Not only does it kill the flow of the game, the extended scrutiny of a play begins to erode all actual context from what happened on the floor. If seeing the play live, and spending a minute or so on the review doesn’t convince three people that something happened, then maybe it didn’t happen. The deeper into each frame of video someone goes, the more you remove the context of real time from the play.

Instead of learning from the misdeeds of the NFL, the NBA is following in its footsteps and slowly killing its product.

The rest of the links

Globe – With play-in tournament looming, tough loss puts Celtics puts more pressure on Celtics

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