Mike Greenberg Has Theory About Celtics’ Game 4 Loss To 76ers

'They played with no urgency'


May 9, 2023

The Celtics made a few critical mistakes in crunch time of their overtime loss Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center.

Mike Greenberg believes one of those errors was not knowing the score when all of the chips were on the table.

Greenberg was floored by the way Boston operated on the final possession of its Eastern Conference semifinal Game 4 against Philadelphia. After James Harden knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer with 18.2 seconds left in the extra frame, the Celtics elected not to call a timeout and proceeded to nonchalantly move the ball up the floor. The sequence concluded with the visitors not even getting a shot off, as Marcus Smart’s attempt at a game-winner was still in his hand when the final buzzer sounded.

The Celtics’ late-game course of action led Greenberg to believe they had the wrong score in mind.

“We’ll never know, because they’ll never admit it. I think the Celtics thought the game was tied at the end of overtime,” Greenberg said Monday on ESPN’s “#Greeny.” “They played that possession like they thought the game was tied. They played to try and get a shot off with half a second left on the clock and they wound up doing it half a second too late. They played with no urgency. They played that possession the way you would play a possession if the game is tied.”

It’s tough to imagine Boston didn’t know it was trailing by one on the final possession of Sunday’s game. For better or for worse, that calm approach typically has been the way the Celtics have handled close, late-game situations under first-year head coach Joe Mazzulla. But as Mazzulla acknowledged Monday, it’s on him to call a break in the action when a play isn’t developing properly for the C’s.

Boston will try to put forth a more polished performance Tuesday night when it hosts Philadelphia for Game 5. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
Previous Article

Cincinnati Reds Prospect Watch: Christian Encarnacion-Strand Rises to the Challenge

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers
Next Article

Buy or Sell: Florida Panthers to Win the Eastern Conference

Picked For You