San Francisco – Jason Tetum offered to laugh when asked about the Boston Celtics’ level of confidence after losing their fifth game in the NBA Finals.
If any nihilistic thoughts bothered him after the game in which he scored 27 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Golden State, he suppressed them.
“It’s better to be confident, right?” Said Tatum. “We do not have to win two in one day. We only have to win one game on Thursday. We have been in this situation before. So it is not over. We have to win on Thursday.”
The notion that Boston knows what to do when it comes to the playoff series has been repeated by the Celtics several times this post-season. They did it again on Monday night, before losing 3-2 in the NBA Finals, and now they face elimination in Boston on Thursday. But the conviction they talked about in previous series is lacking.
For many reasons, the situation they are in now is a new area and forces Celtic to look for answers on how to recover for the 6th game.
“Our faith must be at an all-time high,” said Celtics defender Jalen Brown. “We must continue our faith to be there. We have to play as a team, as a unit. The whole season was like us against everyone. I look at it differently now. ”
Center Robert Williams said: “Now we have to look each other in the eyes. “Our backs are against the wall.”
The Celtics are known to be in the elimination game.
In this season’s playoffs, they played in three games and advanced to win all of them.
They lost 3-2 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, then won the next two games and advanced to the conference finals. There the Miami Heat pushed the 7th game that Boston won, 100-96.
It often seemed that the Celtics were making their way more difficult than necessary, resting when playing games that were not necessarily necessary to win. They had the opportunity to finish the series with the Heat in six home games, but failed. That night they gave the Miami Jimmy Butler 47 points. They were raided by the same teams who were convincingly defeated, indicating a lack of attention.
Their neglect is manifested in errors such as careless turnovers – the Celtics conceded 16.8 miles per game in each playoff loss and only 12.8 wins this post-season. They lost 18 turns on Monday night.
Their abuse stopped from time to time, but the defense helped them survive.
Ahead of Game 5, Boston coach Ime Udoka said the Celtics would have been 3-1 in the series if their attack had simply been played better. Then they started the 5th game by missing the first 12 points.
What has changed now is that Golden State seems to have deciphered the Celtics. Boston’s physicality no longer frightens them. Did Stephen close the door? Golden State still won.
For most of the playoffs, Boston recovered every time it lost a game. Game 5 was the first time this post-season that the Celtics had lost twice in a row – the result of an inequality of mood and adaptation, at the bottom of the young Boston team.
As the series progressed, Golden State seemed more and more ready to move on to Celtics weaknesses.
Celtics forward Al Horford said he feels his team is “almost playing into their hands, some of the things they want to do, which is arguing to take intermediate shots and probably play faster than we would like sometimes. I feel that That fact must be taken into account. “
In Game 5, the Celtics also fell victim to frustration with the referees, which complicated their offensive fight. Throughout the night, the team complained and argued.
“Maybe we should not do something so much and we all did a lot,” Udoka said.
What is also unknown to the Celtics as they face elimination this time around is the pressure that is coming at this point in the season.
Since Boston advanced 2-1 in the series, all talk of a Golden State advantage over the championship experience seemed pointless. At the time, it looked like the Celtics had lost that one game just because they lost focus, as they sometimes do. At the time, Boston seemed too big, strong, athletic, and young to make the Golden State experience change a lot.
But now the series has reached a level never seen before by this Celtic.
“We understand what we have to do,” Karim said. “It’s just going out and performing, trying to cast your emotions, knowing how difficult the match is.
When Boston seeks answers, Golden State smells of blood.
“I’ve never been so excited to go to Boston, let me tell you,” said Clay Thompson.