It’s been just under two months since the Boston Celtics went crashing out of the playoffs at the hands of the Miami Heat. Boston battled back from an 0-3 hole, just to get blown out on their home floor in Game 7. It indeed was the most Celtics way to get eliminated. Break down the fanbase, give them hope, then rip their hearts out.
Boston had a golden opportunity to make their second-straight trip to the NBA Finals and just couldn’t get the job done. During a recent appearance on The Old Man and the Three podcast, former Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent — who is now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers — offered some insight into what went wrong for the C’s this spring.
“I think first off, Boston is a hell of a team and was a hell of a team these last two years,” Vincent told hosts JJ Redick and Tommy Alter. “[Jayson] Tatum and [Jaylen] Brown raise a lot of havoc for the defense. It almost seemed like to me, truthfully, they had something going on over there. Despite our game plan, so much has to go right to win in this league and if you aren’t fully right internally, it shows in different ways.”
Were the Boston Celtics battling internal issues in the Eastern Conference Finals?
Probably, yeah. They sure played like it!
Vincent’s hypothesis that the Boston Celtics were having some other things going on in mid-to-late May might be pretty on the money. Even without citing stories that have since surfaced, the team’s offseason decisions to part ways with a pair of rotation staples in Marcus Smart and Grant Williams may tell quite a bit.
After yet another disappointing close to a season, Brad Stevens felt a need to change something.
In addition to Stevens’ actions so far this summer, anecdotes from The Athletic’s tell-all, which was published the day after Game 7, would indicate that there was, indeed, some weird stuff going on.
None of which was more strange than Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck lighting the team up (deservedly so) after they dropped Game 3 in Miami.
“With the season on the line following a 128-102 Game 3 loss to the eighth-seed Heat, Grousbeck came in hot,” Jared Weiss and Jay King wrote. “After Grant Williams asked everyone to clear the room so the players could have some space, Grousbeck went off. His message that he has been building this franchise for over 20 years and the players need to play with some balls left the locker room stunned, several team sources who were in the room told The Athletic. The sources were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.”
With the massive changes made by the front office this offseason, hopefully, the “something going on” stays in 2022-23.