Game 5 preview: Composed Celtics ready to leave chippy, sloppy play behind

Game 5 preview: Composed Celtics ready to leave chippy, sloppy play behind

BOSTON – It was a sight you rarely ever see – Brad Stevens being whistled for a technical foul.

The only thing that would have been more surprising than the Stevens’ technical in Game 4, would have been for Stevens to complain about it afterwards.

“At the end of the day, we didn’t play well enough to beat Philadephia,” Stevens said. “That has nothing to do with anything but Philadelphia and us and we need to do better.”

Boston will get that opportunity tonight as they try to once again close out their second-round series with Philadelphia which they currently lead three games to one.


And they’ll get to do it at home where the Celtics have consistently played with a much sharper edge and sense of urgency, than on the road in the playoffs.

“We are pit bulls,” said Marcus Smart. “This is a dog fight and we are going straight for the neck.”

Officiating was definitely a factor in Boston’s Game 4 loss at Philadelphia, but there was a much greater problem at hand – the Celtics themselves. 

Philadelphia was the more aggressive team, evident by the way they controlled the boards. The Sixers forced more turnovers (15 turnovers for 16 points) which factored heavily in Boston not getting into any kind of consistent offensive rhythm.

But the biggest surprise was how Game 4 showed a rare collapse in composure by the Celtics players who were noticeably bothered by the way the game was being called, which had a number of key Celtics players in foul trouble most of the game. In the second quarter alone, Boston was called for 12 personal fouls compared to just one by the Sixers.

“It’s tough,” said Marcus Morris. “I felt like there was a lot of pushing and shoving on both sides. I thought it was physical. They got the benefit of the whistle. It is what it is.”

In addition to the Stevens’ technical foul, Jaylen Brown was whistled for a technical foul moments prior to that.


“I was very surprised,” Brown said of his technical foul. “I don’t have a bad reputation with talking to the officials or anything, but I’m going to go back and look at it and contact somebody to see what was going on there. But it is what it is. We will figure it out.”

Throw in the back-and-forth woofing between Marcus Morris and Joel Embiid, combined with the double technical fouls called on Terry Rozier and Embiid for their face-to-face dustup, and it was clear that Boston wasn’t its usual cool, calm and collected self in Game 4.

But that’s what makes this Celtics team so special.

Maybe more than any team in the league, their calling card has been their ability to turn the next page and not let whatever happens, good or bad, dwell in their minds or more important, affect their play.

When asked about the lessons taken from the Game 4, loss, Terry Rozier replied, “Win the next one."

Indeed, the Celtics seemed like an antsy bunch to get back on the floor following the Game 4 loss, clearly focused on making amends from the defeat.

“I’m ready to go now,” Morris said Monday night following Boston's Game 4 loss. “They had a lot to say in (Philadelphia). They did what they were supposed to do. They got one (win). We did what we were supposed to do, and we got one so we go back 3-1. Hopefully we put it away.”



Report: Celtics sign Greg Monroe to 10-day contract

Report: Celtics sign Greg Monroe to 10-day contract

BOSTON -- With injuries, inexperience and the need for rest making the Boston Celtics even more vulnerable when it comes to their frontcourt depth, the team has apparently found a temporary solution. 

Shams Charania of the Athletic says ex-Celtic Greg Monroe has agreed to a 10-day contract with Boston. 

Monroe played 26 games with the Celtics last season, averaging 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19.1 minutes per game. 

He appeared in 38 games with Toronto this season before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets who wound up waiving the 28-year-old center. 

Signing Monroe to a 10-day contract makes sense for both the Celtics and Monroe. 


For Boston, it affords them the opportunity to rest Al Horford and not be overly concerned about the center position with Aron Baynes’ ankle sprain, originally diagnosed as a Grade-2 sprain, apparently not being as severe following an MRI in Boston

He could return as early as Sunday’s game against San Antonio, but the addition of Monroe gives Boston the option of allowing Baynes added time to rest even if he’s healthy enough to resume action. 

And for Monroe, he will get an opportunity to play and in doing so, potentially up his stock in the eyes of potential suitors this summer when he’s seeking to be signed during the free agency period. 

Boston also has rookie Robert Williams III and Daniel Theis at center, but both have had their shares of inconsistent play which made the need for adding a proven, veteran center a necessity in the eyes of the Celtics as they try and close out the season playing well, with momentum heading into the playoffs. 

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Marcus Smart on ejection: 'I’ll do it over again'

Marcus Smart on ejection: 'I’ll do it over again'

Marcus Smart was ejected in the Boston Celtics' Wednesday night loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after he angrily shoved the Sixers' star center, Joel Embiid, in the back.

On Friday, Smart addressed the incident during the team's media availability in Charlotte — and he wasn't exactly apologetic.

"I thought it was just really obvious that it was an illegal screen that should’ve been called and I thought it should’ve been cleaned up," Smart told reporters. "You know, if you called that screen or you make the right call, you just don’t let an offensive player do what he wanted. Allow the defender to protect himself and protect his space as well. None of that ever happened.

"So, with the illegal elbow, I don’t know if you guys watched this but you can even see Joel lean in with the elbow. You can see Joel walk off like he didn’t even do anything. I don’t know what the call was. So, after that, I waited for the call, it didn’t happen, and I just got up and pushed him."


The Celtics were up 11 when Smart exited the game, but they ultimately ended up losing by three points. Brad Stevens expressed his disappointment in Smart's decision after the game, specifically citing Aron Baynes' injury as part of the reason that the team really needed Smart on the floor.

Smart ended up being issued a $50,000 fine from the NBA.

Despite the end result of everything, Smart said that he wouldn't change anything about what he did.

"I’ll do it over again. I’m going to protect myself at all times, especially if I don’t feel like I’m being protected out there like everybody else is. If you don’t want to clean it up, I’ll clean it up myself."

Smart will return to the Celtics' lineup on Saturday against the Hornets. He'll help out the team, as they have already declared three rotation players out for the game in Charlotte.

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