After ending a nine-game winning streak, the Boston Celtics faltered during their three-game road trip. More specifically, they came up short during their two-game stretch in Florida. First they lost to the Orlando Magic and then to the Miami Heat.
Her second of the two defeats was brutal. They held a 14-point lead over Miami in the third quarter, but gambled it away in the final frame after the Heat’s zone defense stalled Boston’s offense. After the game, Miami’s Twitter account posted a message about the loss and mocked the Celtics by mimicking the Dallas Cowboys’ tweet after they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL playoffs.
“Celtics gave away the ball 17 times in the narrow loss to HEAT, in a matchup the Celtics had a chance of winning if they didn’t reintroduce self-inflicted wounds.” Heat’s Twitter account tweeted.
The Cowboys’ tweet went viral after their loss to the 49ers. It was derided by many since instead of talking trash about the 49ers, they appeared to be deriding their own quarterback, Dak Prescott.
“Dak Prescott gave the ball away twice in the close loss to the 49ers, in a matchup the Cowboys had a chance to win if they didn’t re-inflict self-inflicted wounds.” The Cowboyts’ Twitter account tweeted.
Miami’s impersonation of the Cowboys tweet was very well received on Twitter as fans found it hilarious. Except for Celtics fans. They pointed to one of Boston’s biggest mistakes – their 17 turnovers – as the reason for their loss. As for the heat, they only turned the ball over seven times.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics in turnovers, giving away the ball seven times. After him, Grant Williams had four turnovers, Robert Williams had three, Payton Pritchard had two, and Blake Griffin had one.
Tatum had to fight off the Heat as Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Malcolm Brogdon and Al Horford were all out. Miami couldn’t contain him in the first half, but in the fourth quarter they held him to just three points on 1-of-4 shooting. After the game, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra admitted he wasn’t sure exactly how they managed to slow down the Boston star.
“I don’t know,” Spoelstra told CLNS Media when asked what worked differently when he guarded Tatum later in the game. “I don’t think we really made the effort in the first half. Your plan won’t work. It’s the effort, the discipline, the multiple efforts that you have to make against a very good offensive team with three-point shooting and everything. Our close-outs are better in the second half. We put bodies in front of him and then when he threw it out we were able to get to the guys quicker than we had to start the game. Basically, every time he tried to get away quickly in the first half, it resulted in a long shot. When we’re at our best, we don’t give up a pass, a wide-open shot deduction. In the second half things got a lot tighter. And that is the inspiration of H[aywood Highsmith]and gift [Vincent] really moved in this zone. And bam [Adebayo] was just great on the back.”
With how many Celtics players against the Heat, the game was always an uphill battle. After the game, Adebayo spoke about how important Horford is to the Celtics.
“Yes, I feel like Al Horford is the vet on this team,” Adebayo said via Jump View’s YouTube channel when asked whether or not Boston missed Horford in their Jan. 24 matchup. “I have a feeling he’s her UD [Udonis Haslem], and you notice that when he’s on the pitch. He directs people in position, out of position. Bringing guys together, talking to each other, getting them to communicate and having them in the right places. So I think he’s a big key component to their success this year, but also to their success last year.”