The Boston Celtics fell to the Chicago Bulls 128-114 on Monday night.
Despite leading by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, the Celtics somehow got outscored 39-11 to close out the game.
With the loss came a full-on implosion on Boston’s part. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown refused to speak to the media after the fact, but guard Marcus Smart did not.
Smart’s comments were telling.
“I would just like to play basketball,” he said. “Every team knows we’re trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen. Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody’s scouting report is to make those guys pass the ball.
“They don’t want to pass the ball,” Smart continued.
“That’s something that they’re going to learn. They’re still learning. We’re proud of the progress they’re making, but they’re 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.”
Tatum and Brown were egregiously bad in the fourth quarter. The former went 1-of-8 from the field for two points, while the latter went 0-of-2. Overall, Tatum and Brown combined for 48 points on 18-for-40 shooting from the field. This played no small part in Boston choking away a 14-point fourth quarter lead.
Smart is currently putting up a career-low 7.4 points on 9.4 shot attempts per game, no doubt further adding to why he feels so strongly about Tatum and Brown hogging the ball.
That’s one way to do Halloween. https://t.co/YmqiqaNaYN
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2021
Will this team ultimately be able to get it together and eventually right the ship? Time will tell.