Celtics

'Effort wasn't there' for Celtics in loss to Wizards

'Effort wasn't there' for Celtics in loss to Wizards

The Boston Celtics offense is going to be challenged in the playoffs, regardless of the opponent. 

And defensively, they’re sure to have some ups and downs as well. 

But what really stood out in Boston’s loss to the Wizards was what seemed like an overall effort lacking what we’ve seen most nights from the Celtics. 

During Brad Stevens’ postgame press conference, he made multiple references to the Celtics’ effort and compete level not being where it should be.

“We didn’t have a tremendous effort on our part at either end,” Stevens said. “Our offense is going to be what it is. You’re gonna have moments where you score, where you don’t score, where you’re feeling good, where you’re not, whatever. Defensively, we can’t be a sieve either.”

Boston’s Terry Rozier said the team’s effort was the most disappointing part of Tuesday’s loss, their fourth in the last five games. 

“We knew how important this game is, finish up our last two games going into the playoffs,” Rozier told reporters after the loss. “The effort wasn’t there.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 113-101 loss at Washington. 

 

STARS

John Wall: The Celtics never really had him under control at any point on Tuesday which paved the way for a potential triple-double as Wall finished with 29 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. 

Jaylen Brown: From the outset, Brown was seemingly up to the challenge of carrying the team. He led Boston with 27 points on 8-for-18 shooting from the field. 

 

STUDS

Bradley Beal: This was not one of Bradley Beal’s better games, but he made enough plays when it mattered. He had 19 points on 6-for-16 shooting. 

 

DUDS

Terry Rozier: Tuesday night was yet another rough outing for Rozier, tallying just eight points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field. 

Marcus Morris: Morris has become a reliable scorer for the Celtics of late, and the Celtics will need more of the same to have a legit shot at advancing through the playoffs. Against the Wizards, he was just 2-for-10 shooting as he finished with six points.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Celtics are calm, focused, and ready for Game 4

bradstevens_bucks_celtics_4152018.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

Celtics are calm, focused, and ready for Game 4

MILWAUKEE – Inside the Boston Celtics locker room, there was an unmistakable calm among the players moments removed from a 116-92 thumping at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Players talked among themselves about what went wrong, about what they will do different in Game 4 on Sunday but more than anything else, they owned the loss.

There was no finger-pointing or second-guessing the head coaches’ player rotations or not-so-stealth putdowns of an opposing player who had been playing well – all things done by the Bucks thus far in this series.

MORE CELTICS: 

The post-game highlights were still in heavy rotation, but the Celtics had already moved on mentally to Sunday’s Game 4 matchup.

“They did what they had to do. It is what it is,” Marcus Morris told NBC Sports Boston. “Can’t dwell on it. We’ll see them on Sunday.”

As much as Boston has been a team that’s built upon a “Next Man Up” framework, an “on-to-the-next-game” mindset is also deeply woven into this team’s DNA.

That’s why win or lose, the Celtics don’t spend much time thinking or talking about what just happened.

And it is games like the one we saw on Friday where that approach is absolutely critical to them continuing along a successful path and not let rough nights such as Friday’s beatdown, derail them.

More than anything else, the Celtics have extracted elements beyond the X’s and O’s of Friday’s loss as their takeaways in helping improve their overall play for Sunday.

It’s easy to forget that Friday’s game was the first time this team had played a postseason road game together which any NBA veteran will tell you, is different than what you experience during the regular season.

Boston’s Al Horford believes having gone through that with this group for the first time on Friday, will benefit the Celtics in Game 4.

“We learned what the level of intensity is when you’re playing in the playoffs on the road,” Horford said. “At home, you feel good. You’re comfortable and confident. Even though we’ve been playing on the road all year, it’s different in the playoffs.

Horford added, “it’s a good learning experience for our group.”

And while there are sure to be adjustments made on Boston’s part, don’t expected them to stray too far away from who they have been all season.

“We’re super excited about Sunday,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “(Friday), we dropped the ball. We feel like we could have played a lot better. We can’t wait for Sunday, and we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing all year.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Morris fined $15,000 for criticism of officiating

boston-celtics-marcus-morris-21118.jpg
File Photo

Morris fined $15,000 for criticism of officiating

MILWAUKEE – Marcus Morris has been fined $15,000 for “public criticism” of officiating relating to Boston’s 116-92 loss to Milwaukee on Friday night.

Following the loss, Morris was asked about the technical foul he received after some brief words with Bucks forward/center Thon Maker.

Morris was the only player whistled for a technical foul for either team.

MORE CELTICS: 

"I can't even speak on it, man," Morris told reporters when asked about the technical foul. "It's been the same (bleep) all year. I'm expecting it. They knew what they wanted before the game started. They knew who they wanted to go after.”

Morris was ejected in a Celtics win over Toronto on March 31, and afterwards tapped the official on his backside as he left the court.

Since then, Morris has sensed officials were giving him the cold shoulder and to a lesser degree, not giving him the same benefit of the doubt or leeway as other players.

After the ejection, Morris took to Twitter to apologize for making contact with an official.

“Sorry @NBA for smacking the ref ass after getting ejected. I see other refs took offense to it. My apologies

— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2)”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE