The Boston Celtics surrendered a 19-point lead in the second half of a 128-114 loss to the Chicago Bulls, which set the stage for point guard Marcus Smart, who called out All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for being selfish.
Facing a 96-77 deficit, the Bulls outscored the Celtics 39-11 in the final frame while Tatum and Brown combined for 1-of-10 from the floor. Smart, who converted 1-of-2 attempts in the fourth quarter, finished with 16 points (5-of-11), including 3-of-5 from deep to go with his four steals on the night.
Marcus Smart: ‘There’s Only So Much I Can Do’
“There’s only so much I can do without the ball in my hands. I’m just standing in the corner,” Smart said after Monday’s loss. “We’re running plays for our best players. Every team knows that. They do a good job of shutting that down. We can’t allow that. When they shut that down, we can’t keep trying to go to those guys. We got to abort that or find another way to get them the ball; spots where they need the ball. I can only do so much just standing in the corner when I come up and give the ball away.
I do everything I can on the other end to combat that. I try to talk, I try to make a play to get those guys the ball where they want it, where they need it.”
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Marcus Smart On Tatum, Brown: ‘They Don’t Want to Pass The Ball’
“I would just like to play basketball,” Smart replied. “Every team knows we are trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen, and every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody’s scouting report is to make those guys try to pass the ball. They don’t want to pass the ball and that’s something that they’re going to learn. They’re still learning and we’re proud of the progress they are making.
“But, they are going to have to make another step and find ways to not only create for themselves but create for others on this team; to open up the court for them later in the game where they don’t always have to tale tough shots or take tough matchups when they do get the 1-on-1 and bring the trap. Just reading that.”
Brown scored a team-high 28 points on 10-of-18 attempts, including 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc and Tatum finished with 20 points but went 8-of-22 to get there. And according to Smart, his distaste towards the way things are going between him and his All-Star tandem isn’t news to Tatum and Brown.
“It’s something that we’ve been asking for them to do and they’re learning,” Smart added. “We just got to continue to help those guys do that and to help our team.”
Brown, who was scheduled to speak postgame after Marcus, declined to speak with the media. The Celtics will take on the Orlando Magic, Wednesday night.