You don’t care what I think about the Celtics’ just-concluded season, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
The team made a great comeback from 0-3. Derrick White made a play for the ages to pull out Game 6. In the end, though, they lost to a less talented but tougher and better coached team — although I have to say that the Heat certainly didn’t look less talented in this series.
What’s next? Joe Mazzulla has to go. Beyond that, this is still a very good team. I think Al Horford can continue to be valuable (assuming he doesn’t retire) as long as they cut down on his minutes. I’d love to see Rob Williams play more, but I’m afraid that his knee won’t allow for that. I still love Marcus Smart.
The big question is whether to break up the two J’s. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were both awful with everything on the line, and I don’t want to hear any injury excuses about Tatum. They might have to deal Brown because of contract considerations, and if they do, I hope they replace him with a veteran who Tatum respects, even fears. He needs guidance. That said, he took over during the final five quarters against Philadelphia, and that was just as much of a pressure situation as Monday night was.
Many, many people have said the Celtics should have stopped shooting threes since they weren’t falling. Unfortunately, the modern NBA is built around the three, and the Heat were scoring from outside at will. You score two, they score three, and you’re another point behind. I’d love to see the NBA get rid of the three and return to ’80s-style inside basketball. But we know that isn’t going to happen.
And let’s not hear anything about lack of effort. They were playing absolutely as hard as they could until maybe the final eight minutes, by which time the writing was on the wall. They just played a terrible game.