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An Aural History Of The Celtics Postgame Locker Room

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat handles the ball as Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics defends during the third quarter in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 17, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Look, I could go on and on about the sights of last night’s Eastern Conference Finals game, conjuring up for you vivid and vibrant images of a 17-point Celtics lead frittered away. Of Jae Crowder’s defibrillating 4-point play in the third quarter. Of Bam Adebayo, proud new owner of one he’s-only-22-year-old soul, rolling repeatedly past Enes Kanter to the rim. Or of Miami’s deadly, mind-warping defense by committee.

But what use is any of that when the sounds reveal so much more? Last night, these included: screaming, yelling, swearing, quite possibly the bowel movements of Marcus Smart, and “loud clanks.” I present them to you now:

You hate to hear it! As Brad Stevens put it, “Guys were emotional after a hard game, hard loss.” His and Jaylen Brown’s (“Just a lot of emotions flying around”) might be the most honest accountings of this skirmish you’ll get from the Celtics organization. Jayson Tatum told reporters the Celtics were doing “nothing out of the ordinary. Just talking about the game.” Kemba Walker said, “Nothing happened in the locker room. I don’t even know what you guys are talking about. We’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.”

While, as Walker says twice and very convincingly, the Celtics will be fine and everything is just fine, this is the second time Boston has gone late-game crumbly this week. The loss of Gordon Hayward—Stevens has said he should be back sometime in this series—can’t be helping; he’s exactly the sort of playmaker and midrange shooter you’d like to have attacking gaps in the Miami zone. The Celtics can’t pin all their woes on him, though. Beating a zone defense is, in fact, possible! But only if you try. Hayward’s absence doesn’t explain Boston’s malaise on the boards, a grievous TWENTY turnovers to Miami’s 11, or a refusal to depart from goofy Tatum iso-ball down the stretch. I mean, come on, watching this is enough to make anyone want to scream and throw items:

So anyway, uh, all is going well and there is nothing to see here, thank you.