Joe Mazzulla Lets Frustration Boil Over in Celtics Loss to the Heat [LOOK]

Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

Getty Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

For the second straight playoff series, the Boston Celtics lost their opening game, this time at the hands of the Miami Heat.

During a second-half time out, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla was caught throwing his clipboard onto the bench in frustration, as his team had let their lead slip away due to some sub-par play on both sides of the floor.

The Celtics had started the contest in an encouraging fashion, ending the first half with a nine-point lead at 66-57. However, following the break, the Miami Heat turned up the pressure.

Outhustling Boston on the glass, in transition, and during half-court sets, Miami was able to turn the tide during the third quarter, scoring 46 points to Boston’s 25. It was that swing in production that set the Heat on the path to victory as a shellshocked Celtics team struggled to regain a foothold throughout the remainder of the game.

Jimmy Butler Discusses Defending Jayson Tatum

Boston’s May 17 series opener against the Heat was the first game since Jayson Tatum had dropped 51 points on the Philadelphia 76ers to ensure his team progressed onto the Eastern Conference finals.

For the majority of the game, Jimmy Butler undertook the task of trying to keep Boston’s star forward contained – something which he discussed following Miami’s impressive win.

“Stay down, don’t foul, [and] make everything difficult for him,” Butler said. “You got to guard him with all five bodies out there on the floor. I think we did an excellent job of that.”

Yet, despite a valiant effort from Butler and his Miami teammates, Tatum still produced a game that saw him register 30 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block on 52.9% shooting from the field and 33.3% shooting from deep.

“That’s what MVP-caliber players do,” Butler said. “They do everything incredibly well. He made shots. He got to the free-throw line. He hit the three. Mid-post, transition, all of that.”

Unfortunately for the Celtics, Tatum was unable to replicate his performance from May 14 and help lead his team past the Heat to register the opening win of the series.

Marcus Smart Makes Admission on Celtics Mentality

Following Boston’s May 18 loss, Marcus Smart discussed what leads the Celtics to have mid-game slumps from time to time, noting how they can get ‘tired’ of doing the ‘little things’ throughout a game.

“We get tired of doing the little things sometimes,” Smart said. “I think that showed – exactly what we was talking about earlier – our spacing. We have a lot of great players, but when we’re all on top of each other, nobody can be great. When you’ve got a good defensive team like Miami, they make you pay for that. So, we gotta make sure we do those little things, and we can’t get bored with those.”

The Heat are known for their willingness to play with physicality and battle on the defensive end, as such, the Celtics will need to maintain their focus throughout the full 48 minutes of each game. Otherwise, Boston will struggle to progress onto the NBA Finals.

Game two of the Celtics Eastern Conference Finals contest against Miami is scheduled for Friday, May 19 at the TD Garden.

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