Shaquille O’Neal was right there with him, and the former NBA superstar specifically called out Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
“I respect Joe Mazzulla for taking all the blame, but I don’t want to hear that,” O’Neal said on TNT’s postgame coverage. “Let’s just keep it real: Celtics are way too cool for me. They’re too cool.”
Tatum and Brown combined for 26 points while missing 23 of their 35 shots from the field. They were 1-for-14 from 3-point range in the opening three quarters and didn’t play in the fourth as Boston trailed by 30 entering the final period. It was a gutless performance by each of Boston’s stars.
“Jimmy and them, they came out and playing good, clean basketball,” O’Neal said. “They don’t have a shot, take your time, swing it to the open man. Celtics came out with no sense of urgency. The Heat knew what they had to do and they’re committed to doing it. They’ve been doing it all year.”
Speaking with reporters after the game, Mazzulla shouldered the blame for not having the team ready. O’Neal, however, didn’t want to hear that.
“Listen, no coach got to tell me when I’m a superstar what I need to do,” he said, clearly taking a shot at both Tatum and Brown.
The Heat now hold a 3-0 series in the best-of-seven. Boston will have a win-or-go-home Game 4 on Tuesday night at Kaseya Arena, though it feels like the Green’s season is all but over.