Celtics Notes: Boston Gives Honest Assessment Of Game 4 Loss Vs. Heat


Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro showcased a great individual effort to propel his team to a 112-109 Game 4 victory Wednesday night. That was obvious.

But it wasn’t the sole reason the Celtics now face a 3-1 deficit in the Eastern Conference finals. That would be letting Boston off the hook far too easy.

Boston didn’t control what they could have. The team came out flat and was out-hustled for key rebounds late, which Miami almost always made them pay for. Then, arguably biggest factor, was Boston’s own offensive miscues — committing seven fourth-quarter turnovers with 19 (!) in the game.

“There’s so many different aspects,” Kemba Walker said during his postgame press conference when asked the biggest factor behind the loss, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “Definitely some turnovers, offensive rebounds. They definitely had a lot of opportunities to score the basketball. So yeah, a lot of different things.”

Head coach Brad Stevens had a similar reaction.

“They turned us over in the fourth quarter. Those were huge plays, against the zone,” Stevens said. “We got to do a better job with handling the ball. We got to do a better job with taking care of it. But I thought that and just the rebounding, those multiple possessions where they got multiple rebounds, and our first-half shooting, probably did us in tonight.”

“… Herro’s shot-making tonight was, in addition to the things we just talked about that were our own issues, was the difference in the game. Jimmy (Butler) was great late. (Bam) Adebayo was his typical self. (Goran) Dragic made some big plays, but Herro was ridiculously good tonight. The rim must’ve looked like the ocean to him.”

Jaylen Brown added: “(I) think (Miami) made some tough shots. Think they made a lot of tough shots, the rookie Tyler Herro made a lot of tough shots. I think that’s what stands out the most.”

Herro concluded with 37 points, 17 of which came in the fourth. Boston, however, took an 85-84 lead with just shy of nine minutes left in the fourth. It ultimately disappeared due to their turnovers and mistakes down the stretch.

Here are some other notes from Wednesday’s Celtics-Heat game:

— Boston shot 40% from the field in the first half as the Heat took a then eight-point lead before holding a 50-44 advantage at the break.

Celtics players were at a loss for what happened, and why after four days off, they came out looking the way they did.

“I can’t explain why,” Walker said. “I don’t know, to be honest… But at the end of the day, we just have to be better.”

Stevens even said Boston was fortunate to trail just six at half.

“I thought our first half, we looked, for whatever reason, we didn’t look crisp,” Stevens said. “And obviously that showed itself in our shooting numbers. I thought we were lucky to be 50-44 at halftime, to be candid. … For whatever reason our first half just wasn’t as good as it’s been.”

— Tatum fit that slow start, as well.

The NBA All-Star didn’t score during his first 22 minutes of game action, before a 3-pointer with seven minutes left in the third quarter.

“I wasn’t aggressive enough. I didn’t score in the first half, that’s unacceptable. So, I know I have to play better,” Tatum said. “It’s tough. Like I said, they played better than us in the first half. Second half we picked it up but they were already in a rhythm, and they felt good about themselves a lot of guys made a number of good plays, and it’s tough to come back from.”

— And just like that, Game 5 is just around the corner.

One message that was echoed throughout the team was the fact that the Celtics have to turn the page quickly as it’s now ‘Win Or Go Home’ time. And while their 3-1 deficit may be daunting, the Celtics are just looking at playing their best game yet on Friday, nothing more.

“I don’t know the historical odds are, or whatever that, and that doesn’t really matter. The situation we’re in we have to play well Friday. We don’t have to win three games on Friday, we have to win one. That’s going to be our focus, that’s going to be our attention,” Stevens said.

— Game 5 will be held Friday with tip off set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images

Source: NESN

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