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Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka criticized stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for their disappointing Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat.
With the Eastern Conference on the line, the Boston Celtics were quickly felled by the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Conference Finals. Winning by 11 points, the Heat burned brightly with Jimmy Butler continuing to blaze through as the playoff’s best player. Butler finished the game with 41 points alone. No one else on the Heat even came close.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celts dynamic duo, didn’t trail too far behind with their individual scores, but it wasn’t enough to get the win and please their coach. Tatum finished the night with 29 points; Brown finished the night with 24. But a combined 53 points was merely half of their final score of 107. Celtics coach Ime Udoka believed it was ultimately these two veterans who let the game get away from Boston.
Without Al Horford or Marcus Smart, the Celts needed the Jays — and they didn’t come through.
Celtics coach Ime Udoka blames Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown for Game 1 loss
Udoka isn’t wrong to feel that Brown deserves blame for fumbling Game 1, as Brown received a great deal of criticism for missing the simplest throws: the ones from the free throw line.
Freelance sports writer Dan Kelley offered context to Brown’s recent free throw attempts throughout the 2021-22 playoffs.
Kelley and others joined Udoka in blaming Brown for the loss.
Or, to put it more bluntly, he’s essentially Shaq at the free throw line.
To Brown’s credit, he finished the night 6-10 on free throws, but missing those early baskets made Brown an understandable target. Down 11 points, those four additional points would have only helped the Celts win.
Other Celts fans watching chimed in, saying that the Jays lost the game by the third quarter with a high turnover rate. With Butler on fire, every possession mattered, and the Celtics lost a game they could have won.
Boston fans can only hope Game 2 will turn out differently — perhaps Brown can nail the perfect free throw form during practice this week.