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Ime Udoka says Celtics lack psychological toughness below stress after buzzer-beating loss to Knicks

RJ Barrett’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer capped off a 25-point comeback for the Knicks in opposition to the Celtics at Madison Sq. Backyard on Thursday night time. This defeat places the Celtics at 18-21 for the season with the final time they have been above .500 being in early Dec. once they have been 13-12. 

The loss made Boston solely the second staff this season to surrender a 25-point lead, the opposite being their arch-rivals the Los Angeles Lakers.

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The Celtics are making it form of a behavior to lose shut video games this season, having misplaced 16 of their 23 clutch contests (rating inside 5 factors within the final 5 minutes of the sport). They’re 11-5 in any other case. 

“It is a lack of psychological toughness to struggle by these antagonistic occasions,” Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said postgame. “But it surely’s throughout the board, a missed shot, a defensive mistake right here.”

“It is guys getting rattled when it isn’t the top of the world. You continue to bought a 12 level lead and also you gotta finish that run. You bought to know time and rating.”

These feedback add to the staff’s noteworthy feedback following some notable losses this season. 

An enormous a part of the Knicks’ comeback was courtesy of a 21-3 run over a nearly seven-minute stretch by the top of the third quarter and early within the fourth. 

Celtics’ middle Rob Williams, who completed with six factors, 9 rebounds and 7 blocks, completely agreed with the head coach

“I really feel like he’s 100% proper, to be trustworthy. We get rattled quite a bit, particularly once we’re going through adversity. We’ve bought to search out in ourselves the struggle to only come collectively.”

This recreation was the fourth time that Boston gave up a lead of 19 factors or extra and misplaced this season, that’s most by any team this season with the subsequent finest being two video games.

“I believe we get rattled at occasions when you possibly can cease it at a 6-0 run, however as a substitute you let it snowball,” Udoka added. 

It is the offense that’s struggling for the staff. General, their offensive ranking ranks them at 22nd in the league whereas their protection ranks seventh and within the clutch, their offense ranks 23rd in the league. 

Though Boston will get an opportunity to train their demons in opposition to the Knicks at house in a few days, they face a difficulty extra problematic than their opponent – overcoming stress.

This adversity will certainly outline their season. Both they may, over the course of the season, be taught to beat these issues or proceed to hunch when below the pump and never attain the true potential of their roster. 

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