It’s one thing to let a team sneak in under the buzzer, but to avoid letting it sneak into your head can be the real problem. The Celtics played game 3 to win it, and they had it won. Toronto’s chances of winning that game with half a second remaining were slim, at best. Slim and Best were seen dancing in the streets of Toronto Saturday night singing who needs Kawhi!
After seeing how Boston played through the first 2 games I felt that they would win game 3 and have a minor let down in game 4. To be sure, game 4 was close most of the way until the fourth quarter when it did appear the Celtics seemed to sputter and stall a bit.
Meanwhile, in that 4th game the Raptors hit 3 pointers consistently all night and whipped the Wilson around like the Boston Boys did successfully in the first 3 games. Lowry’s ankle, if it ever was that serious, showed no strain as he whizzed hither and yon as if he could freeze time and defenders stood still. Lest we forget, he was one of the main guys that made the mastery of Kawhi Leonard all the more effective while winning the Championship last year.
So what if Marc Gasol was nothing more than a Frankenstein brick tosser. Toronto needs very little offense under the hoop and inside when they have a stacked array of sharp shooters raining down 3 pointers like the Archers releasing fire arrows in Braveheart and your guys are on the horses running for the hills.
But this is the new NBA. It’s about the 3 stupid. 6’8 can set the picks just fine and post up only to dish it out to 3 point land. Or take the 3 themselves.
Okay, so what must Boston do to adjust the dial to a higher frequency? Like I said, they weren’t all that flat in game 4.The D broke down in spurts near the end of the game mostly because Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were a little bit off and a little bit intimidated by an aggressive Raptors crew that was playing like there might be no tomorrow. Neither guy was lighting it up.
I think Boston just needs to trust the plan. Spread it around for open 3’s. Drive to set up 3’s. Post up to dish out 3’s and slash and cut inside to pick up easy fouls. Coach Cassidy knows that if his guys are lighting up threes and matching Toronto then the difference will be in how either team squeezes points and draws fouls from the battle Down Under.
And I don’t mean Australia.