Celtics coach Ime Udoka wasn’t happy with his team’s level of composure during Wednesday’s loss to the Heat, writes Brian Robb of MassLive. Amid a playoff-level atmosphere and with first place in the East on the line, Udoka thought his team got too distracted by the officiating.
“We talked about it at halftime. We were complaining a little bit too much, being down one as poorly as we played early and not playing our best basketball,” Udoka said. “We got caught up in that early in the game as some calls late that didn’t go our way and we got caught up in that. We still have to transfer down to the other end and continue to guard, play through it. It’s a physical team that felt like a playoff atmosphere tonight as far as that. We could do a better job with our composure for sure.”
Marcus Smart was ejected after picking up two technical fouls late in the fourth quarter, but a bigger concern is Jayson Tatum, who was called for his 13th technical of the season in the first half. If he gets three more, Tatum will receive an automatic one-game suspension.
“I do not want to have to sit out a game,” he said. “The previous 12 techs, I’ve looked at all of them. I agree with probably 10 of them I deserved, but tonight, I don’t know. That’s the one I got to think about and watch. That was a tough one. I was trying to have a conversation. I was asking questions. It’s unfortunate that I got that tech, but just something that we got to move on from and continue to keep playing.”
There’s more from Boston:
- Wednesday marked the Celtics’ first game with a regular rotation since Robert Williams‘ meniscus injury, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. Grant Williams moved into the starting lineup, but didn’t make an impact, so Daniel Theis played 17 minutes and scored 15 points while making all six of his shots from the field. “Daniel is capable,” Udoka said. “He’s not jumping like Rob, but he’s a lob threat. We know that. However, we got to deliver it. We missed some opportunities, had some turnovers trying to force some passes tonight but Daniel had a great game overall. You can see his growth, what he’s doing the past few games.”
- After a report Wednesday questioning whether the Celtics are fully vaccinated so that all their players would be eligible for a potential playoff series with the Raptors, Al Horford indicated that it won’t be an issue for him, according to Matt Vautour of MassLive. Horford was held out of Monday’s game at Toronto for personal reasons. “We’re clear on that. I’ll be ready to play wherever,” Horford said.
- Derrick White played his 70th game of the season Wednesday night, triggering a $500K bonus, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. White’s cap hit will be adjusted to $16,892,857 for next season, and Boston is now $1.75MM away from the luxury tax for this season.