We have reached the point where it becomes predictable. The Boston Celtics are the most talented and deepest team in the NBA, but they don’t know what to do with it. It’s good, but it’s not as good as they think.
In the post-game press conferences, they all have the answers. In games, they are bypassed by complacency. It’s been like that for a while now. It’s only a matter of time before complacency costs them a series, and Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are ready to take advantage.
The Boston Celtics don’t have a player in charge
Enough with the hype that Jason Tatum scored 51 points in Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers. It was a masterful performance from start to finish, but that’s not the norm for Tatum. He hasn’t had a postseason game like this, in which he dominated for 48 minutes, since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks last year.
There is no doubt that the Celtics are more talented than the Heat. There’s also no doubt that Jimmy Butler is more relatable than Tatum. This is not a jab at Tatum. It’s high praise for Butler, who shows day and night that he’s a great player who comes in big when his team needs him.
The Celtics do not own Jimmy Butler. They think they do. Tatum puts up big numbers, but the one constant part of his game is that he’s wildly inconsistent.
In Wednesday’s game, Tatum was pretty good. He had 30 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He collected seven rebounds. Tatum also caught three turnovers in the final four minutes. Butler was a pawn. He had 35 points on 12-for-25 shooting. The Heat star also had seven assists, five rebounds and six steals. He came through by the stretch.
It’s great for Bostonians that they have so many guns. Jaylen Brown can put up big numbers. Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White have shown they can create key baskets, but when the game is on the line, the Celtics don’t have that consistent player, like Butler, they can count on.
Complacency is Boston’s biggest problem
The door has been wide open to a return trip to the NBA Finals for the Celtics since the eighth-seeded Heat knocked out the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. heat. Just like they did when they were a 10-point favorite in Game 1 against the Sixers, they blew it. The Celtics held a 13-point lead late in the second quarter against Miami and dropped by 46 points in the third quarter as they were outscored 46-25.
The energy level was low. Several players and coach Joe Mazzola noted that the sense of urgency was not there again. It’s the Eastern Conference Finals. How is there no severity?
“We get tired of doing the little things sometimes,” said veteran goaltender Marcus Smart. “I think that showed what I was talking about earlier – the distance between us. We have a lot of great players, but when we outshine each other, no one can be great. When you have a defensive team as good as Miami, they make you pay for it. It has to be.” To make sure we do those little things, and we don’t get bored with it.”
Jaylen Brown had his thoughts on complacency, too.
“It’s a choice. He said. “Just got to go out and play with a different mindset. We came out so great. It was like we were playing a regular season game. It’s the Eastern Conference Finals, like, come on. We’ve got to play harder than we did today.”
Why do these Celtics have all the answers after the game, but never learn from their mistakes? If there was anything stopping Boston from winning the NBA title this year, it would be their complacency.