Where do I even start? Funny, that’s the same question that Brad Stevens was asking himself prior to game 4. Ironically, the team managed to start reasonably well, taking a lead in the first quarter and getting the lead into double digits at certain points.
Of course, then the 26-0 run happened. Which was reminiscent of the 22-0 run in game 3 ...and the 16-0 run in game 1. We’re seeing a pattern develop here and that is really bad news. Basically, when this Wizards team (in particular John Wall) is on a roll, this Celtics team can’t stop them.
The playoffs as a whole have been a series of runs. The Celtics dropped the first two games against the Bulls only to rattle off 6 wins in a row. They’ve lost their last 2 in humbling fashion and now have to hope for another change of momentum as they head home.
This could be the ceiling for this Celtics team. We could be facing offseason questions in short order. These playoffs have driven home the point that this team is one star short of being really dangerous. If that star becomes available at the right price, we could be having a more serious discussion next year about how they match up with the Cavaliers. Or if the ping pong balls land in a certain way, we could be having a whole different set of discussions.
For now, we’re just hoping that the basketball bounces in the Celtics direction in Boston. Because, frankly, I’m not at all mentally prepared to have those offseason discussions yet.
For all their flaws, I enjoy this team greatly. They are scrappy, hard working (usually), and thrive on being the underdogs. That’s a lot of fun when they are rattling off wins, which they’ve done a lot this season. It is less fun when they get beat up by a bigger dog.
Still, if we’ve learned nothing we’ve learned that this team will not quit. They have a habit of coming back from large deficits (the last two games excluded) and they still maintain home court advantage. If they can play better defense and get some better contributions from Isaiah’s supporting cast, they can take a 3-2 lead and head back to Washington looking to close them out.
I feel like Al Horford is due for a bounce-back game (we’ll need it). I feel like the Jae Crowder pendulum is bound to swing back soon. Avery Bradley now has hip pointers on both hips, which (metaphorically and literally) has to hurt. Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk are kind of the definition of streaky at this point. So I’m feeling good about a bounce back game in Boston.
Unless of course they bounce into a brick Wall. Then we’d have to start having some of those discussions.