Celtics Received Odd Response To Jayson Tatum-P.J. Tucker No-Call

'I'm just here so I don't get fined'


May 2, 2023

The Boston Celtics only have themselves to blame for their Game 1 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, collapsing over the final few minutes to end things on a sour note.

There was also a little injury added to that insult.

As the clock ticked down with just over five minutes remaining in regulation, the Celtics took a two-point lead on a Malcolm Brogdon bucket in transition. While all that was going on, 76ers forward P.J. Tucker took a wild swing in the general direction of a streaking Jayson Tatum, catching the four-time All-Star directly in the, well… you know.

The absurd swing cleared the benches for a classic NBA talking-really-close-to-the-opponent-but-not-doing-anything match, before things eventually cleared up and everyone went their merry way. What didn’t come from the moment was a foul call on Tucker, which drew confusion from Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla.

“They said they couldn’t review it just because we wanted them too,” Mazzulla said Tuesday, per NBC Sports Boston video. “I don’t know, that’s just what we were told. They can’t review something just because (we) want it reviewed, so I guess they didn’t see it.”

Did Mazzulla explain to the officials that Tatum was very clearly hit below the belt by a non-basketball act?

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Mazzulla said.

The response from the officials is a weird one, as seeing a star player crash to the floor usually should indicate something went down worthy of a second thought. When everyone in the building not wearing Philadelphia gear yelled for a review, that should have rung even more bells. The idea that you can’t just ask for a review makes sense, but when something that egregious happens, it should have raised red flags for the officials.

Nevertheless, the game ended without punishment for Tucker or free throws for Tatum.

The Celtics will look to bounce back from the punch to the loss in Game 2 on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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