Heat Playoff Hero Hints at Celtics’ Internal Struggles: ‘Something Going On’

Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum

Getty Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum

Former Miami Heat starter Gabe Vincent had some brutally honest words about the Boston Celtics, specifically their performance during the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals.

During his appearance on “The Old Man & The Three With JJ Redick & Tom Alter,” Vincent explained why he believes that something wasn’t right with the Celtics when the two teams squared off back in May.

“It almost seemed like to me, truthfully, they had something going on over there. Despite our gameplan, so much has to go right to win in this league, and if you aren’t fully right internally, it shows in different ways,” Vincent said.

Vincent also used the previous matchup between the two teams the year before to illustrate his point.

“I think, last year, they were better defensively when we lost to them in the East Finals. This past year, something didn’t seem as right, whether it was their rotations or connectivity, whatever the case may be. I think any bit of weakness we saw, we jumped on it.”

The one clear difference was the change in their head coach, going from Ime Udoka to Joe Mazulla, though Vincent did not reference that specifically.

Vincent was pivotal in helping the Heat beat the Celtics, averaging 15.8 points on 48.5% shooting from the field and 51.6% from three, which were numbers he did not replicate in any of the other series he played in. Vincent signed a three-year contract with the Celtics’ historic rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, this offseason.

Paul Pierce Doubts Damian Lillard Would Help Miami

With all the rumors tying Damian Lillard to the Heat, Celtics legend Paul Pierce explained why he believes acquiring him would not help Miami.

“You put them together, they won’t make it out of the first round,” Pierce said. “You gotta understand how they got to the championship this year. A lot of this had to do with their depth and guys playing way above their pay grade. Caleb [Martin]… was averaging 20 points against Boston. We ain’t never seen those guys do that. Then you have Duncan Robinson. So if you get Damian Lillard, they gone! They already gone, but then you lose another 18-20-point scorer. You’re gonna have to gut that team out.”

Pierce added Miami sacrificing their depth for Lillard would hurt them since they were a play-in team.

“Miami was a play-in team; you forgot that,” Pierce said. “If you just add Dame, this team won’t make it out the first round, with [Dame, Jimmy, & Bam] with no depth… If you gut that team by getting Dame, they borderline might not make it to the playoffs or out the first round.”

Celtics Urged to Get Involved in Pascal Siakam Trade

With the rumors sparking up regarding Pascal Siakam’s trade availability, Brian Robb of MassLive.com explained why he thinks the Celtics should get in on the trade talks.

“Given that the Raptors showed interest in Malcolm Brogdon last year per sources before he was dealt to the Celtics, it’s fair to wonder whether Toronto would still have interest in him or Payton Pritchard in some type of three-team swap with players/assets from another team heading towards Boston and Siakam heading to a third team,” Robb wrote.

“These types of trade constructs are always challenging but the Celtics are well positioned now as a potential facilitator with both player and draft assets that could get them in the mix for any type of swap if the price is right.”

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