After their stunning victory in Game 1, many had praised the qualities of “resilience” of the Celtics. During these playoffs, and like their season, the Celtics have often overturned mountains, but they also have a constant problem: they sometimes completely miss quarters. In Game 1, they lost the 3rd quarter with a score of 38-24. In Game 2, it’s worse 35-14! A quack reminiscent of the one conceded in Game 1 against the Heat: a deficit of 25 points in the 3rd quarter.
“It is something that we must correct, settle” concedes Al Horford. “I know the coach talked about it. I have to take a step back and watch the whole game. I have to look in particular at the third quarter, and find solutions to do better. They do a good job in the third quarter. During the season, we were pretty good in the third quarter. It is a question of state of mind. »
The 3rd quarter of Game 2 was thus catastrophic with a 4 out of 17 on shots and five stray bullets. So they lost more balls than they scored shots…
“It’s a recurring theme in these playoffs so far” recognizes Ime Udoka. “We lose the ball. Teams are prevented from scoring on the half court, but behind they are given easy baskets. (…) We lost 11 balls in the first half, which they converted into 18 points, then we lost five or six more in this quarter. It blew everything up and it also hampered our attack. For us it was obviously a disappointing quarter, but the first half was equally disappointing. »
“It’s easy to talk about it, but we have to get moving and change something”
For Jayson Tatum, it was the attack that rubbed off on the defense, with these recurring ball losses. “I think tonight the stray balls, and sometimes our offense had an impact on how we defended. We were a little static in the 3rd quarter, and I have the feeling that it translates into defense. »
For Derrick White, frustration dominates. The team was only two points behind at the break, without playing well, and this 3rd quarter ruined everything.
“It’s clearly frustrating. We talk about it a lot during all these playoffs. But it’s easy to talk about it, but we have to get moving and change something. It was a big quarter from them, and it really was a quarter that put us out. »
Stephen Curry and the Warriors are known for accelerating in the 3rd quarter and they proved it again in the first two games of the Finals. The Celtics can’t make it a constant problem.