The Boston Celtics got back to winning ways on March 15, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-102; however, the game wasn’t without controversy.
In the dying moments of the game, both Anthony Edwards and Kyle Anderson were ejected from the game, while earlier in the contest, Rudy Gobert received a technical foul too. When speaking to the media following the Timberwolves’ loss, Chris Finch questioned the disparity of calls, stating the Celtics had moments where technical fouls should have been sent their way.
“I don’t understand why there wasn’t a delay of game when Tatum runs down the floor with the ball,” Finch said, “I don’t understand why there weren’t technicals called when Mazzulla is out on the floor twice in the action of play. I didn’t understand some of the verticality A-to-B; it seemed all kind of come unhinged at the time when Rudy got his taunting technical or whatever it was. Seemed to put everybody on edge.”
With their victory over the Timberwolves, the Celtics bounced back from a tough defeat at the hands of the Houston Rockets on March 13, which had led many fans to begin worrying about the team’s chances of contending for a championship.
Rudy Gobert Name Drops Grant Williams
There was a point in Boston’s victory over Minnesota where both Grant Williams and Rudy Gobert competed for a jump ball, with the Celtics combo-forward winning the jump and securing the rock. Yet, the Timberwolves believe that Williams jumped to early and, in effect, stole the ball, leading Rudy Gobert to call him out during his post-game press conference.
“I like the way we fought tonight,” Gobert said, “I like the way we stayed locked in. Playing defense, playing together offensively. Not having a lot of things going our way, but, for the most part, I feel like we kept our composure. We kept our physicality throughout the whole game. So, I’m really proud of the way we played. I mean, the jump ball, I don’t know. I need to rewatch it, but I think he stole the ball. I mean, I would never lose a jump ball to Grant Williams, with all due respect. If I do, it’s really on me. But yeah, he completely stole the ball, and then I don’t know what happened with the situation. But yeah, just an unfortunate turn of events.”
Williams has been struggling of late, seeing his role in the rotation diminish as a result, and unfortunately, those struggles continued against the Timberwolves, with the Tennessee native scoring just 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field while also going 0-of-3 from deep.
Jayson Tatum Wasn’t Impressed With Rudy Gobert
When speaking to the media following the game, Jayson Tatum was asked about his dunk on Rudy Gobert, which came courtesy of a designed play known as the ‘blind pig’ directly after the Timberwolves’ big man had received a technical for his foul on Derrick White – with the superstar forward noting that he didn’t appreciate Gobert’s hard foul on his teammate.
“I definitely didn’t appreciate him doing that to D White, they called a tech, whatever,” Tatum said, “Attacking the rim, especially when he’s down there, you can’t lay it up; he’s gonna block that s***. So, you gotta put pressure on the refs to call a foul and attack the rim.”
Tatum ended the contest with 22 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals while shooting 25% from the field and going o-of-8 from deep. The Celtics will now shift their focus toward the Portland Trail Blazers who they will face on Friday, March 17.