TD GARDEN — On Friday night, the Celtics successfully completed the first stanza of what will likely to be a 9 game series and has played out to be a first round playoffs preview. Kyrie Irving stole the show, once again, as he evaded three defenders to break free for a left handed game winner off the glass.
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If Friday’s match-up was any indication of the what the 1st round of the playoffs will be, Celtics and Pacers fans are in for a nail biting, entertaining series.
Josue Pavon and Mike Petraglia recap Friday’s thriller with their “walk-off report” from The Garden.
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CLNS & CELTICSBLOG TAKES YOU INSIDE THE CELTICS LOCKER ROOM:
Pacers vs Celtics, March 30, 2019
Re: Thoughts about the last sequence
“You want as little time left as possible, after you attempt to score. You want to give yourself time for a tip-in, you want to give yourself – but you don’t want very much more time. So, we elected to use the length of the floor instead of the half court. Sometimes in the half court against really physical teams like this it’s hard to even get the ball in bounds, especially if they know you’re going to hold it for eight seconds. So, you know, we wanted to use the whole court. It was supposed to go to Kyrie (Irving) off the in-bound; they doubled him. So Al (Horford) got the in-bound and took it the length of the floor, which is fine, and then he found Kyrie when we just wanted to give him space on that side of the floor, and, you know, let him be him – and he made a great play.”
Re: Last play
“I saw that they were going to try to deny me with Cory (Joseph) and Wesley (Matthews) so I told Al (Horford) just take off, get it up the court, buy us some time. I saw Myles Turner about to commit to the double team and then I kind of just gave a pass, fake with my eyes and went to the rim.”
Re: Going full court on last play
“They did a good job on the possession before defending. Then getting their hands and getting a steal there towards the end. Coach, I guess he was trying to probably spread the floor a little more and giving Kyrie (Irving) space to work.”
Re: Your team tonight when coming back from a deficit
“We finally put together a second half and we kept ourselves in the game and gave ourselves a chance to win. We did not get breaks tonight and you have to make those breaks, two good looks at it. Thad (Thaddeus Young) missed a layup, and D.C. (Darren Collison) misses an open pull-up jump shot that puts us ahead, and then we don’t get that stop. That kind of basketball Gods weren’t with us tonight. Smart (Marcus Smart) throws in a half-court hail Mary and you just got to make those breaks, you got to make plays down the stretch, get stops, and make baskets.”
Re: Looking forward to the Playoffs and having homecourt advantage
“It depends on who you talk to. Me, personally I think it is always important to make sure that you are playing great regardless if you have homecourt advantage or not. If you are not playing great and have homecourt advantage it doesn’t mean nothing. So, when you are playing against a team like Boston, Philly, Toronto, Milwaukee these are teams that are capable of winning games on the road, but you have to make sure you as a team are playing well enough into the playoffs you have a little bit of momentum.”
Re: You kept your head up after some tough plays
“Yeah, I mean I’m a particular fighter no matter what. But, at the end of the day you have to make those shots towards the end of the game those are crucial points that we definitely need and it could have potentially sent the game into overtime with Kyrie (Irving) making the layup at the end. So, definitely got to make those like I said. I take my hat off on being there for my teammates. It is an unfortunate situation that I missed a shot but got to try and move past it, but definitely I should have made it.”
This week’s guest on Celtics Beat Podcast with Adam Kaufman: Brian Robb of The Boston Sports Journal & The Winning Plays Podcast. Don’t miss a second of Celtics Beat, subscribe here.