With Regular Season in the Rear View, Celtics Came Ready for Playoffs
What sort of adversity did the Boston Celtics not have to face during the regular season?
There were strings of losses, injuries, closed locker room meetings, players calling each other out to the media, questions regarding Kyrie Irving’s future with the team. Hell, the regular season had a little bit of everything, which would make any Boston Celtics fan’s blood pressure go through the roof.
Yet, the playoffs have arrived and a sense of calm has returned.
The playoff Celtics are back.
With the regular season in the rear view, the Celtics have come out looking different. Playing hard-nosed defense, making the key shots, and more importantly, playing as a single unit. The team has seemingly bought into Brad Steven’s coaching after 82 games that led many to question what sort of Celtics team will arrive into the playoffs.
“We’re clicking at the right time,” Jayson Tatum said. “We look like the team everybody thought we would be at the beginning of the season. It took some ups and downs for us to get here, but I like the way we look.”
The Celtics team that arrived into the playoffs is a team that swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round.
“We have just had a lot of great experience and plays that really are going to matter as we continue to go on this playoff run,” Kyrie Irving stated to the media following the 110-106 Game 4 win.
It was a quiet day at the office for Irving, but the Celtics were able to pull out the win as 7 players in green jerseys finished the game in double-figures. It is the same team chemistry and grinded out style of play that allowed the Celtics to reach the Eastern Conference finals just last season.
“I’m just proud of us for finding ways to win,” said Gordon Hayward.
As the series came to an end, a different atmosphere took over the Boston locker room, one far different than the one that dragged the team to hell and back through what was a trying marathon of a regular season. The team was happy, they looked focused, and they looked ready to continue to compete together.
“This is his city. This is where he’s from,” the point guard commented on Hayward who came up big with 20 points off the bench in the close out Game 4. “And I’m glad he had a chance to put on a performance like that in a close-out game, and it really means something to him. It’s exciting to know that when the pressure, quote unquote, gets high, or when you’re asked to be challenged in a certain situation, that you have guys that can respond to that and respond pretty well.”
Of course when a team is winning, it’s easy to be happy.
With the Milwaukee Bucks looking to make quick work of the Detroit Pistons, Round Two will be far different than Round one, and it will provide the Celtics with the opportunity to prove that their postseason performance to this point was no fluke.
“Down the stretch we’re excited, man, to play I guess Milwaukee and play our best basketball,” said Marcus Morris.
The Celtics may just have the winning formula for how to play in the postseason and may very well use it to take down the first place Bucks. They play ugly, they play down to the wire, and they have individuals who can make things happen on both sides of the floor.
As the first round of the NBA playoffs comes to a close, the Eastern Conference semifinals are set to boast two very intriguing matchups and only time will tell us if this Celtics team, amid all the controversy, is for real.