Instead, Brown seemed energized even though the Celtics failed to close out the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night by falling in double overtime, 125-122.
Brown’s energy is derived by knowing the opportunity that awaits him and his teammates as the Celtics face a pressure-packed, win-or-go-home situation when they take on the Toronto Raptors in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday night (9 p.m. EST).
“We’re heading into a Game 7. We feel good about ourselves,” said Brown following the Game 6 defeat. “Obviously we wanted to get the win, but we circle back, we look at the film, come back with a great spirit and get ready for Game 7. It’s the NBA playoffs. We felt like some calls and some things got away from us, but let’s come out, let’s be ready to play. It don’t get too much better than this.”
Besides for Game 1, it’s been an extremely hard-fought, back-and-forth series and that was on full display during a Game 6 that needed two extra frames to decide a winner. The Celtics starting unit logged the majority of the high-intensity minutes as four of five starters played at least 50 minutes. Daniel Theis was the only starter that didn’t hit the 50-minute mark, but he came close as he was on the floor for 47 minutes.
But there’s hardly any time to rest as those same starters will see high volume in minutes again with so much at stake in Game 7.
“They were really playing hard. We were really playing hard. It was a great basketball game,” Stevens said. “Right now, throw some ice on your legs and get ready for Friday.”
The Celtics held the upper hand in this series, winning the first two games and were on the precipice of obtaining a 3-0 lead when OG Anunoby’s game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer changed the trajectory of the series.
Boston will now have to bounce back from another difficult defeat, but their confidence still remains high.
“We have a good group of guys,” said Kemba Walker. “We love playing basketball with each other. We love making each other better. I know we’ll respond. We’re going to come out and play hard again.”
The Celtics can’t imagine the what-ifs or what-could-have-beens if one or two things in the series had gone differently. They are in the position they are in and that won’t change.
Boston’s young stars and the surrounding cast are staring down a pivotal Game 7 and there’s only one thing left for them to do.
“You’ve got to embrace the challenge,” Brown said. “This is what adversity is about. This is what basketball is about. This is what life it about. You get put in tough situations, you can’t complain. Some days don’t go your way, but you can stand up and fight the next day, fight tomorrow. ... This is all a part of embracing the challenge. And that’s what we’ve got to do is embrace it so we can get ready to come back and give everything for Game 7.”