Boston Celtics

Is The Celtics’ Downfall Reason Enough To Blow Everything Up?

The Boston Celtics appeared to be on the brink of becoming the first team in NBA history to overturn a 3-0 deficit after coming back to tie their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Miami Heat last month.

The Celtics had been favored to oust the Heat from the jump, which was fair enough as Erik Spoelstra’s side finished as the eighth seed, qualifying for the playoffs via the Play-In tournament.

Boston Celtics
Photo: Boston Celtics logo

After knocking Milwaukee off and defeating the New York Knicks, no way they were getting past the Celtics, right?

Well, it became apparent they meant business when Boston dropped both games at home and failed to get back into the series on their first try in Miami. The Heat looked set to close things off but Boston fought back to even things up and were again favored to go to the finals as there were hardly any Heat fans who believed their team would win a Game 7 on the road.

Yet, that’s exactly what they did.

After watching Derrick White win Game 6 for the Celtics with a buzzer-beating putback layup, Miami simply went out and got the job done.

Jayson Tatum was unfortunate to roll his ankle on the game’s first play, so we have to give them that. But that’s about all they’re getting.

The Celtics were the second-best team in the Eastern Conference and were largely the same side a year removed from a finals appearance against the Golden State Warriors in which they won two games. While their head coach was forced out and they started the season with another rookie leader, Joe Mazulla proved he was the right choice right up until the Eastern Conference Finals.

No one’s holding the fact that Spoelstra simply outmatched him, yet he made some questionable decisions during the series he would probably wish he could get back.

While the Heat were beaten by the Denver Nuggets in the Finals, they’re not going to receive much criticism after becoming just the second eighth seed to make it as far as they did. They’re also now the first Play-In team to accomplish such a feat.

Boston, on the other hand, will catch flak for some time, and they will deserve every bit of it. Losing to a largely inferior Heat side bereft of multiple key players is unforgivable, especially when they had all the momentum heading into Game 7, a contest they should have won despite Tatum’s struggles.

The books had them all the way, and fans were expecting to cash out on whatever Massachusetts sports betting promos they used since the Celtics had been among the favorites to win the title most of the regular season. Yet, the fans who threw their money behind the Heat must still be smiling, as Miami was an underdog team throughout the postseason.

The Celtics have plunged into the offseason with even more questions than anyone would have imagined they’d have to face. After all, they have been in the conference finals four times in six years, have one of the best young duos in the league in Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and were able to adjust to the firing of Ime Udoka without so much as a hiccup.

The points noted right above are exactly why the Celtics should not panic and should make keeping Brown around a priority. Thankfully, they decided not to fire Joe Mazulla, which is a step in the right direction. Losing to a playoff-inspired Miami team is no reason to throw away everything they’ve built over the last few years.

A few changes are needed, there’s no doubting that. And some could be afoot as they’re reported to be working on a trade to acquire center Kristaps Porzingis that will see Malcolm Brogdon leave. The Washington Wizards are in full rebuild mode after agreeing to trade Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns and are now set to move Porzingis in a three-team deal also involving the Los Angeles Clippers.

Brogdon is headed to LA, while the Wizards are set to receive the 30th overall pick in this week’s draft, as well as Amir Coffey and the expiring contracts of Marcus Morris and Danilo Galinari.


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