Pundits Beware: These Celtics Just Don't Care

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Pundits Beware: These Celtics Just Don't Care

Post by bobheckler on Thu May 11, 2017 9:45 am


Pundits Beware: These Celtics Just Don't Care

Posted: May 11, 2017

By Marc D'Amico |  @Marc_DAmico

May 11, 2017

BOSTON – Many pundits were ready to push the Boston Celtics right out of the NBA Playoffs as Wednesday night approached. Now the Boston Celtics are on the verge of doing the pushing.

Boston dominated Washington from start to finish Wednesday night during a convincing 123-101 victory at TD Garden. The Celtics now lead the series 3-2 and are one win away from simultaneously advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals while eliminating the Wizards from the postseason.

“We need to take full advantage of this,” Avery Bradley said of the opportunity that is now in his team’s hands, after he poured in a playoff-career high 29 points Wednesday night. “The next game, we need to come out and play with purpose.”

That’s exactly what the Celtics did Wednesday night, to the contrary of many outside expectations.

As convincing as Boston’s Game-5 victory was, its defeats during Games 3 and 4 were just as resounding. The Celtics played lethargic basketball during both contests, allowing Washington to blow past them for 27- and 19-point wins, respectively.

Those losses led to critical analysis of Boston. Whispers of the C’s being the worst No. 1 seed in history surfaced for the second straight series. Commentators claimed that Washington is unquestionably the better team, and that Boston would soon be on vacation for the summer.

Yeah? Not so much.

The Celtics responded – again – to the calls for their ouster by playing a focused brand of basketball that cast a spell on the Wizards at TD Garden.

“This team doesn’t get too high or too low,” Brad Stevens said of the team’s retort to its critics. “It’s been very consistent in that manner the whole year.”

That’s a unique trait for a team to possess, as was proven Wednesday night by Boston’s opponent. Wizards head coach Scott Brooks essentially admitted after the game that his team may have become too comfortable with itself after crushing the Celtics in Games 3 and 4.

In other words, Washington got too high.

The Celtics, on the other hand, stayed even-keeled and maintained their confidence. They never wavered in their stance that they could and would win Wednesday’s pivotal Game 5. They believed.

No – they believe, as in present tense, not past, that they can and will get it done in this series as a whole.

“If we lock in like we did tonight, limit our turnovers, limit their transition, that gives us the best chance of winning [Game 6],” said Isaiah Thomas, who led Game 5 in assists with nine, all while scoring 18 points. “We did a hell of a job tonight, from the first guy to the last guy. The coaches made great adjustments, and we took what was on the whiteboard and we put it on the court, and we’ve just got to do that on Friday.”

Surely, with the Celtics now standing on the doorstep of the Conference Finals after a dominant performance, will face far less criticism as Game 6 approaches. Critics, however, will never cease to exist.

They'll think Wednesday night was a farce, and that Boston is doomed to drop this series, just as they did during the first round against Chicago.

But the men who don green and white, with BOSTON embroidered across their chest, don’t care much about those critics. After all, how often are they correct in their predictions for this team? Boston cares much more about the belief inside its locker room.

That belief is as strong as ever now that the C’s have taken a 3-2 series edge over Washington.

That’s a great feeling to have. But what would feel even better? Bradley gave his take.

“The best feeling would be: We lost two games [in Washington]… going and finishing this series on their home court,” he said.

Prior to Game 5, many believed the Wizards would be the team looking to finish this series off Friday night in Washington. Those opinions don’t mean much now, do they?



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Re: Pundits Beware: These Celtics Just Don't Care

Post by hawksnestbeach on Thu May 11, 2017 1:02 pm

I can't recall a less consistent Celtics team, but I'm not complaining! Just give me more Dr. Jeckyll and keep that other personality bottled up. Go Celtics! Hawk


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