Brian Scalabrine NBC Sports Boston NBA Screen grab: NBC Sports Boston

When it comes to the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the series between the Boston Celtics and the Jimmy Butler-less Miami Heat figures to be one of the least competitive matchups.

But thanks to Brian Scalabrine, the rematch of the past two Eastern Conference Finals has already produced some of the playoffs’ most drama, as the Celtics analyst’s assertion that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra ordered a “code red” that resulted in a late foul on Boston star Jayson Tatum has caused chaos across the NBA media landscape.

For the uninitiated, the entire situation began when Heat forward Caleb Martin hit Tatum with a hard foul late in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 114-94 victory in Game 1 on Sunday. During the NBC Boston postgame show, Scalabrine made note that the foul in question came shortly after Spoelstra called a late timeout with the game’s outcome already in hand for Boston.

“I’m not trying to start nothing here, but Erik Spoelstra called a timeout with 1:30 down by 16, 30 seconds later that play happens. 30 seconds later? Why have you called a timeout at 1:30 down 16? Why is that play happening 30 seconds later,” Scalabrine said. “That looked shady to me. A code red.”

Scalabrine might not have been “trying to start nothing,” but he certainly did. On Monday morning, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press — who covers the Heat — tuned into Scalabrine’s daily show with Frank Isola on SiriusXM NBA Radio, in which he made note of “The White Mamba’s” continued criticism of Spoelstra.

This led to Isola responding, accusing Reynolds of acting as the Heat’s “pro bono defense attorney.”

The madness didn’t stop there, with Scalabrine appearing on the Miami-based Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, where he defended his comments while verbally sparring with ESPN’s Israel Gutierrez. Scalabrine’s appearance elicited a reaction from former Heat forward Udonis Haslem, as well as ESPN’s Jorge Sedano, who took the former Celtics forward to task for his remarks.

But lest Scalabrine think that it’s only those with Miami ties who disagree with him, even Bill Simmons stated his belief that he didn’t think Martin’s play was dirty.

Considering his experience as a longtime NBA player, Scalabrine’s opinion shouldn’t be discounted. But when even Bill Simmons disagrees with you on a pro-Celtics take, it might be time to dial it back a bit.

[Wheeler Jaylen on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.