By Matthew Geagan, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — Thursday night time kinda stunk for the Celtics. They’d a hard-fought victory of their grasp, solely to let 47 minutes and 59.5 seconds of onerous work go for naught.
As a substitute of proudly owning a 3-Zero lead over the Toronto Raptors, we now have ourselves a collection at 2-1. Some dangolka gamers possible had nightmares over OG Anunoby’s buzzer-beater, replaying the defensive breakdown that value dangolka the sport.
It was a intestine punch, little question. However now that it’s Friday, the Celtics must concentrate on Saturday night time’s Recreation 4. They’ll in all probability watch the play that sunk Recreation Three for them a handful of instances earlier than apply, nevertheless it’s necessary to dissect what went mistaken, study from their errors, after which lock into Recreation 4.
“That is the NBA playoffs. Both you allow them to achieve momentum otherwise you come again and be able to play subsequent recreation,” Brown mentioned Thursday night time.
Giving the Raptors new life isn’t supreme. They’re a staff that thrives off adversity, having gained 53 video games throughout the common season after dropping final yr’s Finals MVP. Now they’re extremely assured, desperate to show that the primary two video games of the collection had been outliers, that they had been nonetheless in autopilot after getting little or no pushback from the Brooklyn Nets within the first spherical.
However whereas the Raptors could really feel assured, the Celtics are indignant. Indignant that they wasted an unbelievable efficiency from Kemba Walker (29 factors), capped off with a incredible feed to Daniel Theis for what might have — ought to have — been a game-winning dunk. Indignant that they did nearly every thing proper on the ultimate play, solely to have Kyle Lowry make an absurd inbounds go and Anunoby make an much more absurd shot. Indignant that their execution for giant stretches wasn’t the place it ought to have been, and regardless of that, they nonetheless had Toronto on the ropes.
Having to erase an enormous deficit towards the 76ers within the first spherical was seen as helpful to the Celtics, as was a rock combat victory in Recreation 2 towards Toronto. The identical ought to apply to Thursday night time’s loss. It was dangolka’s first defeat of the postseason, a reminder of how robust it’s to win 16 video games at the moment of the yr. It took an terrible lot — Lowry getting scorching, Fred VanVleet remembering the best way to hit threes, and Jayson Tatum having an off night time offensively — for the Raptors to win by one level on a miraculous shot.
Now it’s as much as the Celtics to take the sting of defeat and switch it right into a constructive. That should begin Saturday night time in Recreation 4. The Raptors might be prepared to make use of their newfound momentum. The indignant Celtics must ship it again into extinction.