Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeBasketballFailed late-game offensive execution lets Celtics down in loss to Nuggets

Failed late-game offensive execution lets Celtics down in loss to Nuggets


The Boston Celtics scored 4 factors within the final 5 minutes of their Friday night time recreation towards the Denver Nuggets.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray mixed to shoot 29-of-43 (67.4%) from the sector, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown shot a mixed 2-of-16 (12.5%) from three-point vary, however Boston nonetheless managed to carry the Nuggets to 102 factors on the night time and located themselves one shot away from additional time.

All of it got here all the way down to the final 5 minutes.

They shot simply 2-of-10 in clutch time, with their solely makes being a Brown layup on the 4:51 mark and a monstrous Tatum dunk with 1:41 remaining.

4 of the Celtics’ eight clutch-time misses had been three-pointers, all of which had been stand-still soar photographs that simply didn’t fall—two Derrick White misses, one from Al Horford, and one from Brown.

“Actually, I nonetheless suppose we acquired numerous nice seems,” Tatum stated. “A type of occasions within the fourth quarter, we acquired the offensive rebound twice, or thrice, and we had three beauty from three. And I really feel like we simply form of missed some photographs late within the recreation.

“However Joe stated it within the locker room: we nonetheless moved the ball fairly nicely for probably the most half, [and] generated some beauty. [They] simply didn’t go down after we wanted them to.”

Denver Nuggets v Boston Celtics

Photograph by Brian Babineau/NBAE through Getty Photos

The opposite 4 photographs had been taken by Tatum, who took only one three-pointer within the second half after a 1-of-7 exhibiting from distance. Nevertheless, all 4 of his misses within the clutch had been two-point photographs.

As the sport neared its finish, the tempo slowed down. Each groups fought to get the very best shot, and in flip, possessions acquired longer and longer, particularly with the offensive rebounds each groups had been snagging left and proper.

Boston, at their finest in fast-paced conditions and with the ball zipping across the perimeter, fell into the slog of late shot clock photographs. Mixed with their lack of shot-making, it made for a brutal offensive exhibiting within the fourth.

The sport finally got here down to 2 Tatum photographs within the ultimate 18 seconds of the sport.

With simply over 20 seconds left within the contest, the Celtics acquired a turnover, and Tatum rushed the ball to the opposite finish. Reasonably than resetting the offense and slowing the tempo, Tatum ran.

He acquired by means of Jokic and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, however the two-time MVP poked the ball lose, resulting in a wild layup try over Jamal Murray.

“In these conditions, you all the time wish to be aggressive,” Tatum stated. “After which let your instincts take over and attempt to make the proper play. However I missed a few bunnies on the finish. I gotta be higher and simply actually end these.”

The Celtics might have milked the clock down up 101-100 and went for the ultimate shot, however Tatum tried to make a play, and it didn’t work out.

It was a clumsy drive that resulted in zero factors for the Celtics, however a possession they’re keen to stay with.

“Effectively, your finest participant has the ball and a chance, and whether or not it was on two or three guys, he acquired a layup and simply missed it,” Joe Mazzulla stated of the play. “So I imply, the stability is you belief your finest participant to make a play, and [he] simply didn’t make it.”

Denver Nuggets v Boston Celtics

Photograph By Winslow Townson/Getty Photos

Boston fouled Aaron Gordon shortly after, sending the 62.2% free-throw shooter to the stripe. One make and one bizarre lane violation ruling later, the Celtics gained an odd soar ball determination and had the ball with an opportunity to tie or take the lead down 102-100.

After a Mazzulla timeout, Boston’s first try at a play failed. So, he known as one other with just below 5 seconds left within the recreation.

“Effectively, they’d a foul to offer. So, I used to be ensuring that we simply acquired the shot and acquired into the set that we wished,” Mazzulla stated. “And so, I wasn’t positive once they had been going to make use of their foul to offer. So, getting JB in his spot, I believed he acquired into the paint, and he did a very good job kicking it out. After which they had been about to make use of their foul to offer after I known as the timeout.”

Tatum acquired the ball with Caldwell-Pope on his again. He rotated and threw up a middy, nevertheless it missed.

“I believe I form of rushed it. And that’s on me. At the back of my thoughts, I wasn’t positive in the event that they had been going to foul. They needed to foul to offer. However I had extra time than I gave myself, so I ought to have [taken] some extra time. However you may’t return. So, [it’s] one thing I can study from.”

With 5 minutes left within the recreation, the Celtics had been up 96-95. The ultimate 5 minutes noticed a mixed 11 factors scored, and Boston’s offense wasn’t capable of help their protection, which held the Nuggets to 3-of-10 taking pictures in that point, together with 0-of-5 within the final two minutes.

The Celtics could find yourself being content material with their shot choice, however they didn’t fall once they wanted to. And towards a group as proficient because the defending champs, that’s typically all that issues.

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