Celtics Fail to Close Out the Raptors and the Refs as They Force a Game 7

The Celtics fell to Toronto 125-122 in a double OT nail biter Thursday night that ESPN deemed an instant classic, but it seemed like more than just the Raptors were going against them.

Despite holding the Raptors scoreless over the final 4:23 of regulation, Boston still couldn’t escape with the win.

I’m not going to put this loss entirely on the refs because Kyle Lowry played out of his mind with 33 points, including the go ahead bucket in double OT, and Kemba Walker was a no show with 5 points on the night. The refs were garbage, but I need to reiterate once more; Kyle Lowry BALLED OUT last night.

The Celtics were a mixed bag around Kemba’s atrocious offensive performance. Jaylen Brown was unstoppable in the first half with 21 points, but cooled off to finish with 31 (on 30 freakin shots) He did dominate the boards with 16 rebounds though. Despite finishing with 29 points, Jayson Tatum was largely inefficient going 9-21 from the field. Marcus Smart quietly went off for a triple double (23 pts, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) including SIX three pointers. The man is an enigma and the C’s would be lost without his energy, his balls to take 3’s he has no business making, oh and his NBA First Team Defense

Granted he is a bad, bad man with the ball in his hands, but Lowry was flopping all over the place last night. I do find it interesting how the national broadcast describes it as Lowry “selling” fouls whereas Marcus Smart is just a flopper.

Lowry nearly killed Jaylen Brown under the hoop too. Credit to Brown for not getting up and slugging Lowry right here. This easily could have been a technical because this is how dudes get seriously injured.

Now I feel like we are always questioning or complaining about the referees in these games, but the numbers speak for themselves.

It just undermines your confidence in the game because the NBA always seems to find a way to extend a series in the interest of more compelling storylines.

Speaking of the garbage ass refs, there were a host of questionable calls down the stretch that saved the Raptors time and time again.

The War on Theis seemed to finally come to an end as he was rewarded with a foul call….but then Toronto challenged the call and won.

Kemba not getting a foul as he got hacked going for a layup at the end of regulation was criminal too. I could only find the video from a dude in Colombia, but this guy is obviously pretty pissed off too.

This non-call blew my mind as Nick Nurse was just about on the court and calling for the goddamn corner 3.

That could have easily been a tech. Jaylen Brown was especially unhappy with Nurse after the game saying “Grown men should be able to control themselves. Especially the coaching staff.”

But thats enough acting like someone pissed in my Cheerios as the Celtics need to shake it off and get ready for war in Game 7. Luckily we’re in the Bubble so the C’s don’t need to travel to Jurassic Park for a do or die game, but this is probably the biggest game in a lot of these guys’ careers. Brown and Tatum weren’t expected to topple LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018, Brad Stevens wasn’t expected to reach the Finals with a bunch of young guys and Al Horford, and Kemba Walker wasn’t expected to do much with that sorry Charlotte team. But they sure are expected to win this series and they will never hear the end of it if they lose tomorrow.

This will be a massive missed opportunity if they lose Game 7 with a path to the Finals cleared for them. With the Bucks getting knocked out early, the Celtics just need to take care of business Friday and then “all” they have to do is beat Jimmy Butler to reach the NBA Finals.

Time to get ready for war.

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