In recent weeks, the Boston Celtics have been accused of preferring things the hard way and considering their inability to string together back-to-back wins, you can understand why people might feel that way.
Against the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics failed to build upon their previous victory once again, losing game four of the NBA Finals 107-97, courtesy of a five-minute implosion to close out the contest.
Speaking after Boston’s June 10 loss, Jaylen Brown was quick to remind everybody that the size of the occasion was not lost on him or his teammates and that they knew how fortunate they were to still be fighting for a championship at this late juncture of the season.
We know where we’re at right now. We know it’s the NBA Finals. We know there’s no series after this. This is it. So I think everybody on our team is aware of that. We just have to come out and play Celtic basketball,” Brown told reporters following the game.
Ime Udoka Taking Inspiration From Miami Series
Boston’s inability to string together multiple wins isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s been a thorn in their side since the second round against the Milwaukee Bucks and has now become an unwanted trend.
However, the Celtics won that series courtesy of a game seven victory in front of their home crowd and followed it up by another seven-game series against the Miami Heat – winning game seven on the road. As such, the Celtics have proven capable of winning the hard way, even if it’s not the most ideal of paths to take.
Speaking to the media following Boston’s game four loss, Ime Udoka noted how the Celtics’ ability to win when their backs are against the wall is proof that they’re still in the series against the Warriors, and that they have the talent to eventually win their series and be crowned NBA Champions.
“As much as we’d like to do better on our own, you’ve got to give them credit for how they stepped up defensively. Miami is a team that we went and did it against. We’ve proven we can do it, being down two games, two elimination games to Milwaukee. That’s proof that we can do it,” Udoka said.
Brown is Flourishing in the Finals
For all of Boston’s topsy-turvy performances in the NBA Finals, Jaylen Brown has remained consistent in his performances, building upon his Eastern Conference Finals run, where he ended the series as the team’s top scorer.
Over his last four games, the Georgia native is averaging 22.3 points, seven rebounds, and 3.8 assists while shooting 44% from the field and 35.5% from deep. A large part of Brown’s sudden jump in production has been his willingness to lean into his athleticism, he’s no longer trying to dribble himself out of trouble, but rather, is exploding into the lane and leaving his defender for dust.
Now, if Jayson Tatum can improve his current level of play, and progress to the mean, he and Brown should be more than enough to see the Celtics through their remaining games against the Warriors, and lead them to their first NBA championship, and the Celtics first banner since 2008,