Celtics Big Man Embarassed by Trash Talk Fail During Cavs Loss

Donovan Mitchell Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers need overtime to defeat the Boston Celtics on Monday night, despite the C’s being without starters Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.

While the Cavaliers had to claw their way back into the game, it was far from a clean effort from the Celtics, who led by 14 heading into the fourth quarter. A perfect example came with 0.8 seconds left on the clock.

A Cavs foul sent Celtics big man Grant Williams to the line for two shots.

Cameras caught Williams telling teammates “Imma make both” as he headed to the charity stripe with the game knotted at 109. Williams proceeded to miss both shots, effectively sending the game to OT.

The Celtics scored just five points in OT, clearly missing MVP candidate Tatum’s offensive punch late.


Mitchell Chirps at Williams During Cavs Win

Williams wasn’t the only one chirping before the free throws. Cavaliers All-Star Donovan Mitchell revealed after the game that he had some words for Williams before the game-tilting free throws.

Mitchell’s trash talk was far from vicious. The Cavs All-Star told reporters after the game that he told Williams that missing one free throw would give the pair something to talk about at a Players Association call on Thursday. Both Mitchell and Williams serve on the Board of Player Representatives.

“He gave us both, but I didn’t box out Marcus Smart for the tip and that’s what I’m thinking about,” Mitchell said. “Thank God he missed ’em and we got the win.”

Cleveland’s win over the Celtics win was a much-needed victory. Since the All-Star Break, Cleveland has gone just 3-3, including a humiliating loss to the Atlanta Hawks two weeks ago.

While it’s hard to pinpoint one area that the Cavs’ have struggled with over the last six games, the team’s three-point shooting continues to plague the team. The Cavs are shooting 37.1% from three over their last six games, but allowing opponents a 40.9% make rate from deep.

Granted, the Cavs have played the Nuggets and Celtics twice, two teams that rank in the top ten in three-point percentage this season. But also included during that stretch are the Pistons (22nd) and Hawks (19th).

While Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are excellent defenders, the Cavs can’t rely on either to patrol the perimeter come playoff time. Both Mitchell and Garland have negative net ratings when defending three-point attempts this season.


Cavs Working to Develop Trust

It’s worth noting that the Cavs have climbed back to the top of the NBA‘s defensive rating leaderboard.

Part of that strong form boils down to trust between the Cavs’ teammates. Head coach JB Bickerstaff revealed after the Celtics’ win that trust within the team is something that comes with experience, a factor lacking in the Cavs’ current lineup.

“This team is all about trust and sometimes trust comes from blind trust,” Bickerstaff said, per Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. “No track record of experience in big games, big moments, whatever it is. But that’s how teams become great teams is because they have a blind trust for one another that they’re just going to do what’s right.”

But the Cavs are continually working to build that trust, which only comes after more “shared experiences.”

“That’s what this team is continuing to work on is that level of trust,” Bickerstaff continued. “Because typically that trust comes from those shared experiences, but we don’t have those shared experiences yet.”

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