The Boston Celtics are in some trouble in the Eastern Conference Finals.
He led by 13 points at the end of the first half of Game 1 on Wednesday, only to give up 46 points in the third quarter and fall to the Miami Heat, 123-116.
This results in a virtual must-win situation for Boston in Game 2, which will take place on their home court on Friday.
Worse, Malcolm Brogdon, their main offensive threat off the bench, has a right arm strain, though he is listed as probable for Game 2.
#NEBHInjuryReport For Game 2 vs. Miami:
Malcolm Brogdon (strain right arm) – Probable.
Danilo Gallinari (ACL repair of left knee) — OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 18, 2023
Since last season, the Celtics have had a reputation as a lockdown defensive team, and this year, they ranked second in defensive rating during the regular season.
But he had too many misses throughout the playoffs, and he only ranked ninth in the Celtics’ defensive rating.
His defensive shortcomings were on full display in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game when he allowed 46 points to a Miami team that ranked second in points per game during the regular season.
Towards the end of the contest, another concern reared its head for Boston.
Although Jayson Tatum scored 30 points on 9-of-17 shooting, he was called for traveling twice in the final minutes of the game, and overall he committed three turnovers in the period.
If the Celtics lose again in Game 2, they will have the unenviable task of winning two of three games against a serious and resourceful Heat team in South Florida to win the series.
Marcus Smart Has An Honest Confession After Losing Game 1 To The Heat