Boston – Oh, how simple basketball sounds, listen to Boston Celtics accident. They lost seven games in the playoffs, and after each match, they said they just needed to get out of their way. They know exactly what the opposing team is trying to do, and they simply need to be sharper: do the right reading, take care of the ball.
On the Tuesday before Game Three, coach Ime Udoka answered his trillionth question about turnovers. “The majority is overly penetrating, playing in the middle of the audience, as I talk about a lot. Just don’t keep it simple.” In Game One of the NBA Finals, the Celtics won the three-second wide open because their attack was “clear and sharp.” In Game 2, losing, they committed 15 live ball spins because they weren’t.
One by one, the players echoed this feeling. No self-inflicted wounds, no problems.
In game three on Wednesday, Boston committed seven games with live ball. And guess what: The Celtics won, just as they did after all of their other post-season losses. According to Jaylen Brown, who scored 17 points from his team’s 27-point high in the first quarter, it was all about patience.
“We want to play quickly in the transition,” Brown said after his 116-100 victory over his American counterpart. Golden State Warriors. “But when we’re settled in the half-court, (we want) to get our spacing right, take our time and find the open players and be ready to play.”
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Many times, Brown and Jason Tatum, who had 26 points and nine assists, fell almost halfway in order to create a runway to the edge. When the Boston Stars attacked one-on-one, they were decisive, whether that meant taking her to the basket or finding an open teammate. They targeted mismatches, and even when they attacked one of the Golden State’s strongest defenders, they knew help would be there early and they knew who would be open.
The Celtics watched the cat-and-mouse movie Draymond Green around the edge, and they knew their readings had to be better. Odoka emphasized that, unlike Milwaukee Bucks And the Miami HeatTheir former opponents, the Warriors, don’t have a strong blocker around the basket. Pressing the edge, Boston forced the Golden State into a scramble, resulting in open shots and offensive rebounds. Marcus Smart rebounded from a subpar performance with 24 points and five assists.
“It was just us,” Smart said. “Just keep driving the ball and trying to find a great shot for our teammates and ourselves. This warrior team does a very good job of helping each other end their defences. They will make you have to hit the ball right. Play every time, and if you don’t, they will push you. For us, it was just getting the paint and doing the show right. We took what they gave us, and that was it.”
The beauty of insulting Boston is that, when it works, it really is that simple. Tatum, Brown and Smart are the three main game makers, but anyone else in the lead role is at least an excellent conductor. Once the first domino falls, the Celtics will probably take a good look.
So what should we do in the times when their attack doesn’t work, when their coaches are speeding up and their turnover piles up? Given that they’re two wins away from the championship, perhaps the correct perspective is that loose stretches are just a regular flaw, but not a fatal flaw. Perhaps the only thing that matters is how Boston treats them.
Five months ago, at the pool where 24-point lead was evaporating at Madison Square Garden, Urging Odoka Celtics to “restore our composure” and “take care of the ball – it’s self-made.” At Wednesday’s rally at TD Garden, where an 18-point lead was evaporating in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Odoka asked the team, According to longtime Celtics writer Steve Ballbett, “Are you going to stop playing like assholes?” Really the same.
The difference is that Boston has calmed down this time. Tatum recently noted that the January 6 loss in New York was the low point of the season, and it was cited several times as a turning point. The Celts were 18-21 and then went 33-10 after that, mostly because they cleaned up their act of abuse. They are now at their best “when we respond to difficult situations, when we respond to teams running,” Tatum said after the third game.
As frustrating as it can be to see Boston make the same mistakes over and over, look on the bright side: It’s not necessary to keep rolling out new fixes! The Celtics had the worst offensive performance of the entire season (81.8 points per 100 possessions before trash time, per glass clearing) in Game 2, then followed up with a dominant performance in the mid-zone, on the glass and in the paint, simply by doing what they said they needed to do .
Boston’s biggest advantage against the Warriors is clarity. The Celtics are confident they’ll be fine as long as they keep it simple because they know they have a strength no team can match: a full starting lineup full of great, interchangeable defenders, plus two more off the bench. The defense has led Boston through sub-par offensive games, and it doesn’t have to sacrifice distance in order to put five elite defenders on the field. No other team in the league can say that.
For the Golden State, things are more complicated. While everyone knows who the Celtics’ top seven players are, there isn’t much separation when it comes to the Warriors’ player roles. What the rotation looks like, then, becomes the question of what the coaching staff feels is most important at any given moment. They can go with Gary Payton II for defense or Jordan Poole for playmaking, Kevon Looney for rebounding or Nemanja Bjelica for shooting.
“We were kind of blocking the holes tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said after the third game. Other than the extension of the third quarter where Stephen Curry got hot, “we couldn’t find this two-way mix.”
Almost everyone should look for this kind of balance in the playoffs. Not Boston. That’s why, despite responding better to losses than wins during these qualifiers, Udoka believes there is no qualms heading into Game 4.
“I think we saw what makes us successful,” Odoka said.
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