Kristaps Porzingis Offers Simple Advice After Celtics’ Ugly Loss to Hawks

Kristaps Porzingis

Getty The Boston Celtics blew a 30-point lead in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

It’s tough to complain about a Boston Celtics team that has already clinched the Eastern Conference’s top seed in March. Heading into their game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, March 25, the Celtics had won 20 of their last 22 games and owned the best record in the NBA. The Celtics seemingly were on their way to their 10th straight win, but the Hawks rallied from a 30-point deficit to somehow pull out a 120-118 victory.

While the loss won’t affect Boston’s playoff seeding, it’s still a tough one to swallow. Two of Boston’s last three losses are of the concerning variety as the Celtics have blown leads of 22 points or more. While many Celtics players acknowledged they took their foot off the pedal against the Hawks, Boston center Kristaps Porzingis offered some simple advice after his team fell to 57-15.

Kristaps Porzingis Says Celtics Can’t Overreact After the Loss

As great as the Celtics have played this year, they’re going to lose games. Six times this season, Boston has strung together win streaks of five games or more.

Against the Hawks, Boston held a 68-38 lead with 4:23 left in the second quarter, but Atlanta chipped away, outscoring the Celtics in the final three quarters.

A loss isn’t concerning when you’ve clinched the top seed and you’ve won 57 of 72 games. How the Celtics have lost, however, can be alarming when the team isn’t learning from its mistakes.

On March 5, the Celtics saw a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter quickly evaporate against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 105-104 loss.

Back then, Jaylen Brown called it a “mentality loss.”

“That’s what happens when you don’t match the gas and don’t put an NBA team away,” Brown said, per ESPN. “Today was a mentality loss.”

Porzingis wasn’t happy with the way things went down in Atlanta, but he said it’s important not to overreact to the loss.”

“Not overreacting,” he said when asked what he’ll take away from the loss. “I think we did a good job during the game not overreacting, even though it’s a big contrast in what happened in the game.

“It’s the NBA. These kind of things happen. We just don’t want to make this a habit, and it hasn’t been a habit for us. We slipped one game.”

Porzingis Referred to the Loss as a Slip-Up

It’s painful to see a 30-point lead turn into a loss, but the Celtics still own a six-game lead over the reigning champion Denver Nuggets for the best record in the league. Porzingis admitted the Celtics let up in the game, but he’s not concerned that the loss has any hidden meaning.

“We relaxed a little, and we paid the price,” he said.

“We need to have a little more urgency. We’re a confident team from what we have shown. We expect to win every game. As I said, it’s a slip-up for us, letting this game slip out of our hands, but I like that we have some bumps heading into the postseason.”

Celtics star Jayson Tatum was a little more blunt in his assessment of the loss.

“We know we (expletive) the game up,” he told reporters. “We didn’t do the things necessary to win, and I think sometimes that’s the easiest to fix, when you know if you do the right things and play the right way, the way you’re supposed to, we know usually what the outcome is going to be.”

Read More