Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka knows his two stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, need to be stronger for his team to get past the Heat.
After being up for the entire first half, the Celtics fell flat int he second, allowing Jimmy Butler and the Heat to come charging back for a convincing 11-point victory.
During his post game press conference, Ime Udoka referenced the absence of Marucs Smart and Al Horford, but also made it clear that he needs more out of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
“Having Marcus and Al might have helped, because they settle us down, but it wasn’t really just that. And it wasn’t our young guys, Payton and Aaron, but it was our veterans Jayson and Jaylen who let it get away from us.”
Ime Udoka: "Having Marcus and Al might have helped, because they settle us down, but it wasn't really just that. And it wasn't our young guys, Payton and Aaron, but it was our veterans Jayson and Jaylen who let it get away from us."
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 18, 2022
Jimmy Butler clearly took offense to the Heat’s lackluster first half, and was far-and-away the best player on the court down the stretch.
Despite the loss, Jayson Tatum poured in 29 points, with Jaylen Brown adding 24.
Regardless, the Celtics can’t have their best players being outworked and outplayed sown the stretch consistently in this series. And perhaps Ime Udoka’s call out will light a fire under the two young stars.
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