Tensions between the Celtics and Heat flared up again Sunday afternoon, highlighted by an exchange between Jaylen Brown and Duncan Robinson, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. With 7:54 remaining, Robinson was whistled for a foul when he and Brown got tangled up on an inbounds play. As Brown tried to free himself, he pulled down on Robinson’s left arm and twisted his body, tossing Robinson to the ground.
Robinson grabbed at his left shoulder and began talking to Brown, who was called for a flagrant 1 foul following a video review of the play. They had to be separated after another exchange of words before Robinson went to the foul line.
“I just thought it was a dirty play, to be honest with you,” Robinson said. “That’s how people miss entire seasons with those types of plays. You’ve seen it before and throughout the history of the NBA. Guys suffer really bad injuries from instances exactly like that.”
Brown defended his actions, saying he wasn’t trying to hurt Robinson. He also accused the Heat — Boston’s opponent in the last two Eastern Conference Finals — of having a reputation for getting away with fouls and “mucking up the game.”
‘I think he knew exactly what he was trying to do, trying to get tangled up because he didn’t want to play defense,” Brown said. “They called the foul but he was still trying to hang on so I was trying to get my arm free.”
There’s more on the Celtics:
- Kristaps Porzingis had another injury scare on Sunday, Himmelsbach adds, suffering a back contusion on a collision with Bam Adebayo midway through the third quarter. Porzingis was able to return later in the game and doesn’t believe it’s anything to be concerned about. “My back is fine,” he said. “I got a little bump from Bam on the rebound and it was just kind of like nothing serious. Went to the back, made sure it was good and warmed up again.”
- Porzingis views Brown’s exchange with Robinson as positive for the team, per Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. The Celtics have been accused of lacking toughness with Marcus Smart and Grant Williams no longer on the roster, and Porzingis enjoyed seeing Brown stand up to the Heat. “When they got into it again, I kind of liked it, it got the whole crowd into it, it was a good atmosphere,” he said. “I love it. I think we have to take those emotional moments in a good way, make us fired up, controlled. We have to stay controlled because that’s their game. They need us to react to something.”
- Newly acquired Jaden Springer is brushing off comments from Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey suggesting that a second-round pick has more value to the franchise than Springer does, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive. Springer isn’t bothered by last week’s trade, saying he’s focused on finding a role with the Celtics. “Coming to a team like this, you can’t go wrong,” Springer said. “Especially probably the best team in the league. A bunch of great guys. Great organization. So far, I’m loving it here.”