Celtics Address Costly Fourth-Quarter Confusion In Game 1 Loss To 76ers

The C's were doomed after this blunder


May 2, 2023

BOSTON — The Celtics weren’t as sharp as they needed to be against the 76ers in crunch time and it cost them a hefty price, losing Game 1 on Monday night and allowing Philadelphia to take a quick 1-0 series lead.

With the 76ers not backing down, coupled with James Harden flipping the MVP switch and sliding in for Joel Embiid, the Celtics needed to adjust defensively, which they didn’t. They needed to make timely stops, which they didn’t. And it all came down to a deflating turnover in the fourth quarter to allow Philadelphia to steal Game 1.

After Marcus Smart completed a few pivotal three-point plays, the Celtics failed to reward their veteran, committing a jaw-dropping miscue with 32.1 seconds left to hand the 76ers all the momentum they needed on a silver platter. The Celtics appeared unaware of the shot clock, causing Malcolm Brogdon to toss the ball right to Tyrese Maxey, who finished a wide-open layup on the other end of the floor.

“On the pass, (it was a) mistake. A turnover, it happens,” Brogdon said. “… I think guys thought that because the shot clock went off they would stop the play.”

The mistake overshadowed a few strong postseason performances, particularly that of Brogdon, who delivered 20 points off the bench for the Celtics. Yet, with closing games growing into a constant issue for Boston, opposing teams aren’t allowing the Celtics to walk away from their mistakes without paying a costly price.

In that specific instance, as Brogdon mentioned, the Celtics lacked the awareness to understand the situation at hand and it haunted them.

“Yeah, we all thought it (was a) shot clock violation,” Jayson Tatum explained.

Tatum added: “We didn’t do enough to win.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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