Battling for a spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics laid an absolute egg against the Miami Heat Sunday afternoon.

Boston fell down 79-53 at the half with an absolutely disastrous defensive performance against its conference rivals. While the Celtics ended up making it a game in the second half, the end result was their fifth loss in the team’s past eight outings.

Missing star wing Jaylen Brown due to an ankle injury for a third consecutive game is not an excuse. Seeing big man Robert Williams leave at halftime due to a turf toe injury is not an excuse.

One season after making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics sit at 35-33 on the campaign and as the seventh seed in the conference. If the season were to end today, Boston would be forced into a play-in matchup with an ascending Charlotte Hornets team. This is not the way general manager Danny Ainge and the Celtics envisioned things going in 2020-21. And it has Brad Stevens firmly on the hot seat.