Celtics Blog 2017-

Game Three.

Debacle: Part III.

By Tom Mahoney

Tonight's game is about starting to get ready for next years Eastern Conference finals. "We got our ass kicked," Jaylen Brown said. "Point blank, period. We didn't come out with enough energy to start the game off, two games in a row. Defending champs. They swept us off the floor." Brown was the only guy who looked like he was not intimidated. 

In fact, he looked like he intimidated a few of the Cavs. "We have a veteran ballclub," LeBron said. "We're one of the oldest teams in the league, so we all push each other. We're here for one reason. When you sign up to be here, we're here to compete. We're here to sacrifice for one another. And if you're in garbage time or if you're in in crunch time, you need to be a professional. RJ has done that. Champ (James Jones) has done that. Channing is doing that. You see guys playing One Round. A huge piece for one round, but then the next round certain things change. Guys just continue to stay ready. Guys continue to stay professional. It's great to be in a locker room like that." But the lessons he can learn from LaBron will all be there on the Court for him if he can read it. 

You need that mean to be a superstar in the NBA. "He's not scared," Cavs HC Ty Lue said about Brown going toe to toe with LaBron. "He's not afraid. That's what you like the most about young guys. They might make some mistakes, but playing against the best player in the world, he's not scared, and you can respect that." They need to get him matched up on LaBron. 

So Brown can see unclose and personal what he does that makes him the smartest basketball player in the world as well. "Us having those empty offensive possessions where maybe you miss an open shot and they go down and convert," Stevens said. "Or you have an opportunity and you turn it over, and they go down and convert. Those things were bigger than just the three points they were scoring. I felt like they had a negative impact on kind of our look, and again, credit them." He needs to see what LaBron sees on defense, and on offense.

In theory this Series is about the Celtics winning. "We just have to make it as difficult as possible as a group. I think once you take up space and (LaBron) beats you by a step, he sprays it to a wide-open shooter. I think there are a lot of things that I think sound good in theory," Stevens said. "I just think we have to do our best to mix it up appropriately without overdoing it, and make sure that we try our best to keep him in front. Obviously, if we want to keep him in front. We don’t want him shooting layups, like probably you’re thinking Jae, with the downhill drives. We had a few that I thought he made great shots where we actually guarded him pretty well. But at the end of the day, that’s all easier said and done." But in reality, this Series is about the Kid learning what it is to be a Superstar from LaBron.

Isaiah Thomas is one of the toughest SOBs I've ever seen. "He was pretty despondent not to be able to play," Green said. "I mean, that guy is a tough guy, and he plays through a lot. For him to have to sit is really hard. I think for IT not to play, he'd have to have one of his legs cut off or something." He played the first two games with a hip injury that limited his effectiveness to near nothingness.

And one of the most important things the young Celtics have to learn from the Cavs was how they swarmed over them defensively. "We do have some great perimeter defenders that take the challenge," LeBron said. "But we also have great third-line defense as well with our front line. Which communicates pick-and-roll coverages or pin-down coverages, or whatever coverages and allow the guards to get up into the ball or do what they need to do to be successful versus their guards." The first two games of the Eastern Conference finals were clinics in team defense.

Down two Home Games, and now that Isaiah Thomas is out with a torn labrum in his hip (how the hell did he play two games with that?), the Series is over. "Isaiah has worked tirelessly to manage this injury since it first occurred," Dr. Brian McKeon siad. "The swelling increased during the first two games against Cleveland, and in order to avoid more significant long-term damage to his hip, we could no longer allow him to continue." Now it is even more important to play the Kid.

They have to go as young as possible to quicken the aging process in the youngsters. "Anytime we don't have Isaiah on the court is obviously a minus for us," Green said. "You know, we need him. Just his presence, his way to compete is contagious. We need him on the floor at all times. Even if he's not on the floor, we've got to have the next-man-up mentality, which we've had for the most part all season. We just didn't have it today." We know what we've got in the veterans.

Now we need to see the Kids on the floor playing against the Cavs' Playoff defense. "Two games in a row now, I've felt like when we've missed multiple opportunities in a row offensively," Brad Stevens said. "We've really let that dictate how we played on the other end of the court. That's disappointing. But they've taken advantage of us both nights." Give the kids some Tape of themselves playing against the most sound and intelligence defense I've seen since the Celtics defense with KG, Paul, and Ray.

They have to get the kids on the floor to study Playoff defense. "There’s no magic formula," Horford said. "We need to just go out there and play. Help each other on defense. And I’m sure that shots will fall. The biggest thing for us defensively is to do what we do. We need to be way better. We haven’t played to our potential I feel like the first two games. Just looking forward to Sunday." Brown has to get up in LaBron's grill and see it for himself.

That is the only aspect left of importance in this Series. "We can't put our head down when we miss one," Brown said. "We have to do a better job of cheering each other on, getting each other open shots and supporting each other when we do hit them." Get them on Tape against the best team defense in the NBA. So they can learn from themselves, and the Cavs' Playoff Veterans. 

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Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances:

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution is the greatest paragraph ever written by mankind. It is the truest diagram of how to ensure a free Country of citizens survives. But is is also a list of what to attack when you want to be a fascist dictator. President Jerkballs is attacking every article in the 1st Amendment. Beware suckers, or you will be subjugated:


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