Why Game 3’s loss could mean so much more for Celtics, Joe Mazzulla-News

MIAMI — Demons were born Sunday night, those thoughts that live in the heads and lips of opponents.

The Boston Celtics they have played hundreds of memorable games in their past history, but for the future, just saying that “Game 3” will be difficult without any problems.

To be honest, a Miami Heat They have the best record of the season, but their 128-102 victory to take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals could earn them a special title. Unexpected wins are often the sweetest, and the Heat and their fans are basking in that feeling.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, in the process of drawing on his creative skills by being close to the task of reconfirming what seemed like an impossible Finals for the No. 8 who was three minutes away from the playoffs, had to take it. ways to store all ideas.

“That was a tough, tough, technical process,” Spoelstra said Sunday night, noting that his career has now begun to run at a high level. “But we have respect, great respect for Boston.”

It will be tempting for the Celtics to make “Game 3” a watershed moment. Allowing for well-controlled deep frustration and humiliation will lead to an aggressive response.

This is a very talented, experienced and expensive team coming off the postseason with a dud. When this happens in official games, there is often a foul play that calls for action.

There have been push shoots, commercials and makeovers in Boston. It will be like a pool that overflows. In a few days and three losses, this has changed from a team loved by computers and sportsbooks to win the franchise title in a crisis.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck spent much of the third quarter, as his team won 32-17, looking at his phone in his courtroom trying to focus on anything else.

Team president Brad Stevens stood outside the Celtics locker room after the game in shock at what he had just witnessed, making sure to give the Heat credit for their loss.

Jayson Tatumwho seven days earlier played one of the best games in NBA history when he scored a record 51 points in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, took to the court in a white suit of his choice. about the game.

Miami looked good, no doubt, but it was wrong after what happened in front of the “white out” Heat playoff team. It would certainly come; Tatum had an athletic streak in his lane, but this one was so flat-lined that it was hard not to make a symbolic connection to the outcome.

“Obviously, we’re in a tough spot,” Tatum said after an anemic 14 points on 6-of-18 shooting. “But we just have to be proud.”

And then there was Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, whose game plan to take all the blame for the loss wasn’t as effective as he made the game.

“I didn’t prepare them to play,” Mazzula said, repeatedly. “I have to get them in a good place to be ready to play, and that’s on me.”

Mazulla doesn’t object too much. He was so successful in trying to draw attention to himself and away from his team, a team that played so lifelessly, that his tactics were obvious.

He is in the midst of learning many lessons in his first game as a head coach, and this was another one. There is art in being a shield – and it wasn’t.

There is a wave of anger coming out of New England and the expectation of any further escalation Mazzulla will pay the price for the 0-3 hole that the Celtics find themselves in. making him a permanent coach in the middle of the season.

Stevens tells you about his first season as an NBA coach in 2013 where he made mistake after mistake, some of them embarrassing. Like when he made a play outside of the last second shot to realize, the danger, after the time the ball was in the center and not on the line.

Stevens knows when you have a rookie coach, rookie mistakes happen.

Before Game 3, if you had been around the Celtics, you would have known there was no chance Mazzulla wouldn’t be back next season.

After Game 3, nothing is guaranteed.

There is a question as to whether the Celtics can deliver Jaylen Brown a cost increase of over $280 million this season. His performance has been terrible in this series; he was 0-of-7 from 3-point range Sunday and is 2-for-20 from 3 in three losses against Miami.

After Game 3, it looked like shutting down Brown, 26, was easy; getting a player of his caliber in his position under control for five years is good business.

After Game 3, it’s human nature to wonder if the Tatum-Brown pairing is good or too good. And considering that both could spend more than $50 million in salary per season soon, is that really good enough?

“The results are not over yet,” Brown said. “It looks bad, but you’re out, be proud of yourself.”

This life search can go on and on. It’s easy to question what happened to the Celtics’ stout defense — they’re the shell of a team that made the Finals last season — but there’s a continuing shift in the lineup and the effort and inexplicable delay of the Heat’s two teams. stars Jimmy Butler.

And that’s as low a penalty as the Celtics are in this incredible slump. It will cost more than just a chance at a title. This is the kind of loss that can rob a team of its confidence and direction.

What has happened in the last five days for the Celtics is disappointing. The heat just crushes them. But as it has become now it has become much more than that.

And that may be what Game 3’s true legacy is.

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