NBA rumors: Celtics owner may have confronted players after Game 3 embarrassment

Boston Celtics (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics’ embarrassing Game 3 loss in Miami reportedly led to uncomfortable conversations between upper management and players. 

The energy circulating the Boston Celtics franchise after Game 3 in Miami was one of extreme negativity. With their backs against the wall in a supposed must-win game, Boston didn’t even bother to show up. Jimmy Butler’s Heat cruised to a 26-point victory and took a 3-0 series lead. To this day, no NBA team has ever bounced back from such a deficit.

In an appearance on the “Toucher and Rich” show, Celtics color commentator Cedric Maxwell said the loss led to an exchange of words between Boston’s upper management and players in the locker room. The result, Maxwell said, was a common understanding: “everybody [here] wants to win.”

Well, win they have.

Boston Celtics’ ownership confronted players after Game 3 loss

Of course, Celtics’ owner Wyc Grousback and upper management were unhappy with the result of Game 3. So was the entire team. Joe Mazzulla said after the game that he lost the locker room, leading to rampant speculation about his job future. Miami felt like a shoo-in to make the Finals. History favored Miami unequivocally.

Well… don’t look now, but the Celtics are starting to cook. Boston has won two straight to trim the Heat’s lead to 3-2 ahead of Game 6 in South Beach. Teams have come back from down 3-2, the most recent example being these very same Boston Celtics in the conference semis against Philadelphia.

The Heat are the 8-seed; it’s possible that they’ve simply been punching above their weight this whole time. The Celtics were preseason favorites to win the East, boasting arguably the most complete top-to-bottom roster in the NBA. There have been significant bumps in the road, but history suddenly feels very much within reach. If the Celtics can steal Game 6 and get back to TD Garden for Game 7, no one is picking Miami to win that game.

If the Celtics do pull off the improbable, historians will point to this reported exchange between ownership and players as a potential turning point. The Celtics have played well with their backs against the wall all postseason. Should the Celtics try a little harder to not have their backs against the wall in the future? Yeah, but it’s hard to deny the team’s resilience.

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