Playoffs 2020 | East Finals: (3) Celtics vs. (5) Heat

Marcus Smart unloads on Celtics teammates in emotional tirade

Brown: 'In families there’s up and downs, there’s fights and emotions. We’re going to hold each other accountable'

ORLANDO, Fla. — No one had to wonder how Marcus Smart was handling the 2-0 hole his Boston Celtics have found themselves in against the Miami Heat in these Eastern Conference finals.

Anyone within earshot of the Celtics’ locker room at AdventHealth Arena after Thursday night’s 106-101 Game 2 loss heard it loud and clear, as Smart was audibly screaming amid other voices in a heated exchange.

It didn’t stop after Smart exited the locker room and headed for a nearby bathroom. Smart exited the building without speaking the media, leaving Celtics coach Brad Stevens and teammates Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker to answer questions about what had gone on.

Walker claimed he knew nothing about it. Tatum downplayed whatever went on.

> Game 3: Celtics vs. Heat, Saturday at 8:30 ET on ESPN

“I don’t know who said that,” Tatum said. “We’re frustrated. But that’s team sports. You’re not supposed to be happy we’re down 0-2. Nothing going on there. Just talking about the game. It’s cool. Got to get ready for the next one.”

Stevens admitted that “Guys were emotional after a hard game, hard loss.”

Brown, however, acknowledged that the venting that went on in the postgame locker room was intense.

“At the end of the day emotions are going to fly,” Brown said. “Obviously, we wanted to win this game and we didn’t. But the series is far from over. And we got to get ready for Game 3. You, this how it goes. In families there’s up and downs, there’s fights and emotions. But that’s exactly what we are, a family. And you know, we’re going to hold each other accountable and we’ve got to do what it takes to come out and execute next game.”

When asked if what happened was needed, Brown agreed and acknowledged that a good Heat team is forcing the Celtics into all sorts of uncomfortable situations through the course of the first two games of the series.

“I think so,” he said. “A lot of people are passionate, emotional and I’m one of those people, so I recognize it as that. I recognize it as emotions and passions and I don’t recognize it as nothing else. How the media might see it or whatever, that’s all it is passion just being expressed. So we gotta express that same passion next game for 48 minutes. Period.”

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Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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