Boston came out in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals and laid an egg, putting the Celtics in an 0-3 hole against the Miami Heat.
The 128-102 loss was a listless performance, putting the Celtics one game away from elimination in the NBA playoffs.
With the season teetering on the brink, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck reportedly entered the postgame locker room and “went off” on the team.
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Grousbeck’s message to the team was to “play with some balls,” leaving the locker room stunned, according to The Athletic.
“(Grousbeck) was right, but we shouldn’t need that,” Celtics forward Blake Griffin told The Athletic. “As soon as we got to the locker room, we were just so frustrated.”
The message apparently did the trick, at least for the next three games.
The Celtics became just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after falling down 0-3 in a series before their season came to a screeching halt on Monday, losing to Miami 103-84 as the Heat advanced to the NBA Finals for the second time in four years.
While Boston managed to force a deciding game, their shooting failed them in the final two games of the series, combining for just 16 of 77 from the three-point line after finishing second in the NBA in three-pointers made per game during the regular season.
It was a tumultuous year for the Celtics, who found themselves with their third coach in three years after Ime Udoka was suspended for the 2022-23 season for “violations of team policies.”
Joe Mazzulla was named the interim coach before having the interim tag removed in February and leading Boston back to the ECF.
The Celtics now enter an offseason with a few hard decisions ahead of them, with Grant Williams set to enter restricted free agency and Jaylen Brown eligible for a supermax contract extension after being named second-team All-NBA.
Source: Fox News
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