By the time a team makes it to the playoffs, most of the kinks in their rotation should be worked out, and their execution should be approaching its peak level. The occasional slip is to be expected, but for the most part, you would hope game-altering mistakes are kept to a minimum.
Yet, against the Atlanta Hawks in game five of the Boston Celtics' first-round playoff series, the mistakes piled up — from both a coaching and player perspective. Everything was looking rosy. The Celtics were holding the Hawks at arm's length, and the intensity on defense looked to be stifling at times.
Then, midway through the fourth quarter, somebody slammed on the breaks. The urgency with which the Celtics had approached the earlier parts of the contest was replaced by an apathetic approach on both ends of the floor, and we could only watch on as Trae Young put on his Superman cape and took the game by the scruff of the neck.
If you’re frustrated, you have a right to be. Angry? That’s fair too. No matter how you’re feeling about the Boston letting go of the rope despite being so close to the finish line, we hear you. That’s why today’s episode of the Green With Envy podcast is focused on the mistakes and judgmental errors that led to such a deflating loss.
We know that we don’t have the answers. But we understand the feelings of frustration and the question that arose throughout the game. Why did Blake Griffin get a run, despite not seeing the court for the last four games? What was Malcolm Brogdon on the bench as Atlanta stormed back into the game? And what was going on with the timeout situation?
With a short turnaround until game six, Joe Mazzulla and his coaching staff will have some adjustments to make, while Jayson Tatum will be hoping that his on-court struggles remain in the TD Garden so he can help lead his team to victory. But until then, join us as we dissect what went wrong during those final few minutes of game five; maybe between us, we can figure out what actually happened!
If you prefer to listen rather than watch, you can find the show on Apple and Spotify.