Don’t talk to the Boston Celtics about the Brooklyn Nets star trio’s — Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving — mannerism, idiosyncrasies, or how in awe the Celtics ought to be, they have bigger issues to worry about; like how they’re going even up their best-of-7 series.
Hence why Celtics center Tristan Thompson didn’t take kindly to the initial two-part question that was asked during his media availability after practice, Monday afternoon.
The former 2016 NBA champion was asked about the dynamic that comes with playing in a Game 2 matchup when you’re on the wrong end of a 1-0 lead.
Tristan Thompson Reacts to The Nets’ ‘Swagger’
Thompson was then asked about the Nets’ swagger in Game 1 and if he considers it to be a legitimate hurdle for the Celtics to have to worry about in Tuesday’s matchup. Tristan didn’t take kindly to the latter half of his question.
“You said, “they’re playing with a swagger?” A swagger? I mean listen, you have a team with Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving; you better step on the court feeling good about yourself,” Thompson said. “But, we don’t give a s*** about that. At the end of the day, they put their socks on, their shoes on just like us. So, we’re not intimidated or anything like that.
“So, that swagger thing is; I don’t even know how to answer that, OK?”
Tristan Thompson On Making ‘Minor Adjustments’ Ahead of Game 2
Thompson’s focus of late has been strictly on how the Celtics will make the proper changes ahead of Game 2.
“More importantly, Game 2 adjustment is like a chess match,” Thompson said. “We saw the game plan; what we wanted to do. And it worked pretty well for us, except in the second half. We couldn’t make as many shots as we did in the first half. So, that kind of affected us.”
Still, the Celtics’ encouraging first-half performance is enough for Thompson to believe that Boston was closer than it seemed down the stretch, where the Nets built a 13-point lead (101-88) via Harden’s 3-pointer with 1:32 left in the final frame.
“We (need to) make couple minor adjustments,” Thompson added. “Defensively, I like what we did. Offensively, just got to get the ball popping, moving, especially when switching one through five. We can’t get stagnant with the ball and get into isolation. We have to move it and force their players with ‘swagger’ to have multiple efforts.”
Facing Brooklyn’s ‘Big 3’ Reminds Thompson of ‘Those Golden State Teams’
Brooklyn’s ‘Big 3’ combined for a whopping 82 points in Game 1. Facing the Nets, Tristan says, felt eerily familiar to his days in Cleveland; back when he went toe-to-toe in the postseason against another star-studded lineup.
“It’s kind of like those Golden State teams,” Thompson said. “I mean, I guess Kevin Durant took what he did in Golden State and brought it over here to Brooklyn.”
The Nets will host Game 2 against the Celtics, Tuesday night in Brooklyn.