Doris Burke Implores Celtics to Fix Glaring Issue: Exclusive

Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics arguing with a game official

Getty Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics arguing with a game official

Ime Udoka has improved almost every aspect of the Boston Celtics‘ on-court production this season, but convincing his young team to accept referring decisions has not been one of them.

It’s true, in game two of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics might have felt that some clear-cut calls weren’t going their way and that one team was allowed to be more physical than the other.

However, for a team that prides itself on its ability to overcome adversity, Boston’s young roster found themselves getting into arguments with the referees on far too many occasions. Of course, when you chose to shout at the refs rather than get back on defense, it can leave your team short-handed, which is the last thing you should ever want, especially against the Warriors.

Doris Burke joined Heavy for an exclusive sit down on behalf of Sling TV to discuss her thought’s on the Celtics’ tendencies to dispute referee decisions, and how it’s hurting their overall basketball product.

“One thing I thought the Boston Celtics, and I’ve seen them do this before, and this to me is a reminder that Jayson Tatum is – 24 and Jaylen is 25… I thought the Boston Celtics got too caught up in the officials last night. It is the NBA Finals and you are probably getting hit, and I understood why Ime Udoka took that technical foul. He wanted that technical foul, he specifically behaved in a way to get him that technical foul because he was trying to send a message. But they need to let Ime work on that. They need to play through.

So Jayson Tatum drives — and he thinks he’s taken contact, he’s not getting a whistle. I think it would serve him better not to react physically, not to throw his hands in the air but to just sprint back defensively… This is their livelihood, it’s hard not to react emotionally, but the fact is that split second both ways you gotta get back because you don’t want to put your team at a deficit in defensive transition. I felt like they got caught up in that,” Burke told Heavy.


Ime Udoka Has Spoke About the Issue Before

Udoka isn’t a coach to hide behind a mantra or work behind smokescreens. Instead, the Celtics coach tells it like it is, and during an October 6, 2021, interview with the media, Udoka touched upon how he didn’t expect his team to ‘cry’ about bad calls.


Ime Udoka On Complaining To Refs: "We're Not Going To Be A Team That Cries That's Definitely Not Me"BRIGHTON, MA — Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka spoke to reporters on Wednesday after the Celtics preseason practice. Boston will play its second preseason game vs the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. Quotes From Ime Udoka: “First week or so we really emphasized switching off ball … that was the game plan … it’ll be game-by-game.”…2021-10-06T19:29:03Z

“Only when needed, I addressed that to our team, and we got a little chippy out here in practice, just guys getting after it. And I said, let me be the one to b*** at the refs, you guys play through plays and move on to the next thing. Let me be the guy who complains to the ref, but that’s not the team we want to be, and that’s not who I am. So, I don’t want the team to start crying about every call. I told them to play through things from day one in camp,” Udoka told reporters.

Unfortunately for Udoka, this is one lesson his team is still struggling to learn, almost an entire season later. But, if Boston wishes to finish the season as NBA Champions, they’ve got to get better at moving on from poor decisions, because right now, the Warriors are taking advantage of the situation every chance they get.


Draymond Green is Winning the Mental Battle

Green has often been known as the guy who gets inside a player’s head or riles a team up. It’s part of what makes him such a fierce competitor, and it allows him to get a mental edge during games. On June 5, Green was at his trash-talking best, as he shut down Jaylen Brown for long stretches of the game, and began to assert his physicality onto the Celtics offense.

One altercation between Green and Brown saw the pair get into a slight shoving match, as tempers began to boil over – meaning Green’s plan was coming to fruition.

I don’t know what I was supposed to do there. Somebody got their legs on the top of your head and then he tried to pull my pants down. I don’t know what that was about. That’s what Draymond Green does. He’ll do whatever it takes to win. He’ll pull you, he’ll grab you, he’ll try to muck the game up because that’s what he does for their team. It’s nothing to be surprised about. Nothing I’m surprised about. He raised his physicality to try to stop us and we’ve got to raise ours. Looking forward to the challenge,” Brown said following the Celtics’ 107-88 loss.

Game three of the NBA Finals is set to take place on June 8 at the TD Garden in Boston, and hopefully cooler heads will prevail, regardless of what tactics Green deploys throughout the contest.

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