Celtics

Stevens loses his cool, gets second career tech with Celtics

Stevens loses his cool, gets second career tech with Celtics

In the fourth quarter, it was a sight you seldom see with the Boston Celtics -- head coach Brad Stevens being whistled for a technical foul.

And to make matters worse, the Celtics were clinging to a two-point lead (78-76) at the time.

But after struggling to put away the pesky Charlotte Hornets for most of the night, Boston scored seven straight following the technical free throw which propelled them to a 104-98 victory.

The technical foul against the fourth-year coach was only the second he has received in a regular season game (he picked up one in 2015 in a preseason matchup against New York).

“I’d rather him get the techs than me,” quipped Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas to reporters afterwards.

Not surprisingly, Thomas said he and some of his teammates were surprised that the usually mild-mannered Stevens was hit for a technical.

But Stevens’ frustration certainly mirrored that of his players who were called for 26 personal fouls while the Hornets were whistled for 17.

Even more disturbing was the free throw discrepancy (33 free throw attempts for Charlotte compared to 17 for Boston).

“You need that every now and then,” Thomas said of Stevens' tech.

That outward, fiery emotion is something Thomas said is becoming more common with Stevens this season in his dealings with his players as well.

“Just because of the expectations,” Thomas said. “He expects a lot out of us. When we’re not doing our job, he’s on us a lot more than he has in the past.”

And apparently the referees as well.

Thomas thinks this might be the season when Stevens picks up two technical fouls in the same season.

“Brad shows that every blue moon,” Thomas said, adding “We probably won’t see it for another 50 games.”

That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

That 617 Life Podcast: Are the Celtics contenders or pretenders?

The Boston Celtics are coming off a disappointing back-to-back which saw them drop games to the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers. While these two teams are among the best in the Eastern Conference, the losses have sparked some debate about this Celtics club.

Are they contenders or pretenders?

While the team has a 17-7 record, there has been chatter that because the team hasn't beaten the best teams in the East, they may not be able to make a lot of noise in the playoffs. But is that chatter being fueled by recency bias and the team's two latest losses?

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Shanda, Cerrone, and a special guest from NBC Sports Boston, Kyle Draper, debated the issue on this week's episode of "That 617 Life Podcast".

Draper defended the Celtics right out of the gate and pointed to the available personnel and level of competition the team has faced as reasons for the mini losing streak.

They played two very good teams. Can we at least say that? I'm not gonna be down on this team or concerned about this team. Let's go back to that Indiana game. If Gordon Hayward doesn't leave that game, if Jaylen Brown doesn't foul out, maybe you win that game. And you played without Marcus Smart. Same thing against Philly. That was a high-level game. I thought both teams played well.

Cerrone agreed with Draper and called the Celtics "one of the tougher outs in the NBA" ... when everyone's healthy. But getting everyone healthy is the big key for the team.

I think they'll get into a groove and they've gotta get into a rhythm as a team the more these guys stay healthy. That is the key to the whole thing, it's health.

The Celtics have seen a number of starters miss significant time with injuries and illnesses including Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart. So Cerrone's point is well taken, and the C's will be better off competing in close games against top-tier teams once they have their full complement of players available.

Hear more of the group's thoughts on the Celtics and other major Boston sports stories on the latest episode of the "That 617 Life Podcast", which drops every Friday as part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Mavericks, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

NBA last two-minute report: Celtics' failed inbound pass vs. 76ers should have been a foul

NBA last two-minute report: Celtics' failed inbound pass vs. 76ers should have been a foul

This won't help ease the pain of Thursday night's Boston Celtics loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, but the NBA's last two-minute report at least acknowledges a mistake made by the officials on a key play in the fourth quarter.

With 25.7 seconds remaining in a 112-109 game, Jayson Tatum's inbound pass to Jaylen Brown resulted in a critical turnover. There appeared to be an obvious foul made by Josh Richardson on the play, but the refs swallowed the whistle.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The last two-minute report states a foul should have been called as Richardson "clamps Brown's arm while the ball is being thrown in and affects his ability to receive the pass."

The C's went on to fall to the Sixers, 115-109. They'll have a few days to think about the botched call before they visit the Dallas Mavericks for a matchup Wednesday night.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Mavericks, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.