The Boston Celtics dropped the ball in Game 5. Literally. In fact, they effectively dropped the ball 18 times. Boston’s 18 turnovers led to 22 Golden State Warriors points, which contributed to this harrowing statistic.
The Warriors scored 22 points off 18 Celtics' turnovers in Game 5.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 14, 2022
The Warriors' 103 points off turnovers are the most by any team through the 1st 5 Finals games since the 1992 Bulls. h/t @EliasSports
Boston is 1-7 with 16+ TO in a game this postseason (13-2 in other games) pic.twitter.com/d9YAwisEgS
With their 104-94 win on Monday night, the Warriors took a 3-2 over the Celtics. And once again, Boston did themselves no favors. Turnover woes have hypnotized the Celtics all postseason long, and it doesn’t look like anyone is coming to break the spell anytime soon.
“We’re hard to beat when we don’t turn the ball over. And clearly, we’re easy to beat when we do turn the ball over,” Tatum explained when asked about the team’s turnover problems.
And to make matters worse, Tatum also managed to set an NBA record on Monday night. The 24-year-old superstar has committed more turnovers (95) in a single playoff run than any player in NBA history.
While he was a bright spot in their Game 5 collapse scoring 27 points on efficient shooting splits, he also displayed flashes of the turnover-prone Tatum who has shown up time and time again throughout the postseason.
Simple passes have haunted Tatum throughout the playoffs, as he’s constantly thrown the ball away unnecessarily. Simultaneously, Jaylen Brown has been dealing with his own turnover problems. Only for him, the primary issue is driving into traffic.
Brown constantly dribbles into traffic without a plan. This often ends up in him throwing the ball away, getting stripped, or simply losing it altogether.
The Celtics guard finished Game 5 with 18 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, but he only managed to shoot 5-of-18 from the field and 0-of-5 from distance. His cold shooting night contributed to Boston’s messy offensive performance, as they were unable to execute on that end of the floor for the majority of the contest.
“A little bit of credit to them [Golden State]. They’re a really good defensive team. Disciplined and sound. They’re gonna force us to do what, obviously, we don’t do best,” Brown explained. “So, we just got to continue to recognize the game, see the game, and make in-game adjustments and take care of the ball when it comes down to it. Another game with too many turnovers and it cost us.”
Boston fell into a similar trap to the one that occurred in Game 4. They found themselves stuck in isolation situations, as they constantly settled for the first look that Golden State’s defense gave them. Combine that with their turnover issues, and they were in for a rough showing.
This all started from the opening tip, too, as the first quarter put Boston in a giant hole. They were down by as much as 16 points in the quarter, which also marked Golden State’s biggest lead of the contest.
“Poor start overall, hard to explain why that is,” said head coach Ime Udoka when asked about the team’s rough first quarter. “But we got back in it. Turnovers, missed free throws, and some of the things, obviously got a little bit into talking to the refs too much. Probably didn’t help us in the fourth, but the start is hard to explain.”
But despite the ugly loss, Brown remains confident in Boston’s ability to bounce back.
“Your faith gotta be at an all-time high,” stated Brown. “Our faith gotta continue to be there. We gotta play as a team, as a unit. And all season long it’s kind of been like, us versus everybody. So, I look at it, it’s no different from now. My faith is higher than it’s ever been before. So, I’m looking forward to Game 6.”
Game 6 will take place on Thursday at 9:00 p.m. EST.