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
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.
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,
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.
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.
A Citizen! Not a Subject!
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petition the government for a redress of grievances:
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