Former Celtics player Dennis Schroder and the Toronto Raptors were not pleased with the Boston Celtics’ decision to challenge a call late in Saturday’s one-sided game.
Despite the Celtics maintaining a commanding 27-point lead with just 3 minutes and 39 seconds left, Coach Mazzulla made the audacious choice to challenge a referee’s decision.
This disputed play involved Oshae Brissett of the Celtics and Thaddeus Young of the Raptors.
Darko wasn’t too thrilled with the Celtics using their challenge with 3:39 remaining. 🤨 pic.twitter.com/vyDgfRNFKu
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 12, 2023
It appeared that Young had redirected the ball off Brissett, leading the referee to grant possession to Toronto.
However, the Celtics’ bench players fervently urged Coach Mazzulla to contest the decision, and he ultimately acceded to their request.
The Raptors, particularly Dennis Schroder, were dissatisfied with this move.
Schroder, a former Celtics player, expressed his discontent after the game, arguing that challenging a call with such a substantial lead late in the game was inappropriate.
“Up 30 you’re not supposed to challenge nothing,” Dennis said, per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “You won, it’s three minutes left. You shouldn’t disrespect us like that.”
Mazzulla, however, provided an explanation for his choice to challenge the play in the aftermath of the game during his postgame press conference.
“I don’t know if it was disrespectful or cheap to challenge in that situation,” Mazzulla said. “I don’t really agree or disagree. I think at the end of the day, my responsibility is to my players first, and having respect for the game. We’ve been in that situation before where we don’t shoot the last shot, we let the clock go out. We do that all the time.”
The Toronto Raptors will be seeking payback next Friday as they prepare to host the Boston Celtics for their second NBA In-Season Tournament match.