Jaylen Brown feels the exact same way as us fans when it comes to the defensive execution on the final play of the Celtics’ Game 3 loss:
“That was just a f—— disgrace at the end of the game,” Brown said postgame, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “That was just terrible.
“No way we should have lost that game. I take responsibility for that. Not just that play, but a lot of the plays before. And it happens. This is the NBA playoffs. Either you let them gain momentum or you come back and be ready to play next game.”
I appreciate Jaylen taking full responsibility as a leader should, but this one is mostly on Brad Stevens. You had half a second to make sure nobody got an open look, and somehow there was a guy wide open in the corner for three. Play man-to-man. Stick to your assignment for 0.5 seconds and the game is yours. The fact that JB had to come from under the basket to close out on Anunoby is asinine. Surprisingly illogical decision-making from a coach who’s normally great in crunch-time.
So here we are. The Celtics should be heading into Saturday with a chance to close out the series and move on to the Conference Finals. Instead, they’ve given the Raptors a chance to tie things up and completely steal the momentum. How they respond in Game 4 will say a lot about this team.