Last night the Celtics lost to the Cavs 120-103 after racing out to an 18 point first quarter lead. There were many reasons why the lead evaporated, their usual dependable bench got worked over with each of Smart, Turner, Jerebko, and Zeller having a +/- of -14 or worse. Against the Cavs, the Celtics clearly missed Kelly Olynyk's ability to spread the floor. But the biggest takeaway from this defeat is that the Celtics let the refs get under their skin in the second half, and acted like a team that's tied with the Jazz and Sixers for the youngest roster in the league (24.4 years).
After heading into the break down one, the Celtics lost their composure in the second half with Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger each getting technicals.
Isaiah Thomas said before Smart's technical, teams were warned the next complaint would result in a technical foul.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 6, 2016
The Celtics were only down two with 1:39 left in the third quarter when Marcus Smart sent Kevin Love to the line for three free throws. It was a tough call, and you have to wonder if the ref would have kept the whistle in his mouth if he hadn't just t'd Smart up moments earlier.
It's a valuable lesson for this Celtics team. Losing a big lead to the best team in the East on the road because you lost your composure is something you want to get out of your system in March, not haunt you come May. It seems as though the Celtics recognize that this is a situation that can't repeat itself when it's time for the playoffs:
The Celtics really acknowledged they let their frustrations with officiating boil over. Isaiah said championship teams don't do that.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 6, 2016
"Poise was the biggest factor. Both sides were warned by the officials. I don't think we played with great poise." Stevens— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) March 6, 2016
It's another teachable moment for second year regular Marcus Smart and the rest of the Celtics, who don't have one player over thirty on their roster. With Stevens and All-Star Isaiah Thomas acknowledging the issue, hopefully the Celtics can keep their emotions in check and play with poise come playoff time.
Photo Credit Getty Images Paul Colahan 3/06/2016 01:12:00 PM Tweet Edit