An overall spectacular season for the Boston Celtics has not come without its low points. First was the stretch in mid-December where the C’s dropped five out of six games, including three straight at home. Now Boston is in the midst of another three-game skid after collapsing in overtime against the New York Knicks.
The Celtics were up five points on the Knicks with 3:20 left to play in overtime and failed to pull out the victory. The cherry on top of the frustrating collapse was that they even had a chance to take a lead with less than 10 seconds to play. Star guard Jaylen Brown got fouled on a mid-range attempt and went to the line to shoot two while down one. Brown went on to miss both free throws, which allowed New York to walk away with the 120-117 win.
After the final buzzer, Interim Head Coach Joe Mazzulla spoke to the media. Mazzulla told reporters what he had said to Brown after he missed both attempts from the stripe.
“I love you, Jaylen and I believe in you,” he shared with the press via NBC Sports Boston.
The former No. 3 overall pick finished the night with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. He didn’t have his most efficient night, shooting 8-22 from the floor and 1-8 from beyond the arc.
Jaylen Brown Takes Blame After Celtics Collapse vs Knicks
Mazzulla wasn’t the only member of the Celtics to discuss the final sequence with the press. Brown also shared thoughts with reporters after the loss. He discussed the final sequence, as well as the game as a whole, taking some blame for the disappointing night at TD Garden.
“I’ve just gotta be better to be honest. Tonight was just a rough game,” he said via NBC Sports Boston. “I’m a better basketball player than I played today. Those two missed free throws kind of embodied the whole game.”
Despite being disappointed with the result, Brown doesn’t sound like he’s going to let the misses get to him going forward.
“I think for your own sanity, you just let it go. You come out, keep playing basketball, and you come out and be a better version of yourself. I love this game. And I love the highs and lows you come with it.”
Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Named All-Star Starter
Boston losing their third straight game wasn’t the only story to come out of the night. In some more favorable news, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was named an All-Star starter for this year’s game in Utah.
He’ll join Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference (even though teams will be selected in pick-up fashion a half-hour before tip off).
Following the loss to the Knicks, Tatum spoke about being honored.
“I never want to take it for granted. It’s an honor and it’s just something I dreamed about as a kid,” he expressed via NBC Sports Boston. “To be named an All-Star starter meant a lot. I was very excited.”
This year will mark the third time Tatum starts in the All-Star game. However, his previous two starts were as a replacement for an injured Durant.