Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
Pulling the Celtics within eleven would have been huge Tuesday night if he would have sunk his 3-point attempt halfway through the fourth quarter. Instead, Marcus Smart had a not-so-smart reaction after being harassed by a fan after he clanked the three. Maybe Smart just stupidly forgot the other half of the peace sign, whatever the case, he is now facing a $25,000 fine and the Celtics are facing a 2-0 deficit to an eight seed for the first time in franchis history.
The Brad Stevens Celtics are a young team that is looking to get out of the first round for their very first time. If they plan on making it to the second round, these finger follies cannot fly. While the Celtics have proved all season to be the better team, the actions of Smart could also argue that they are less composed than the Chicago Bulls. These acts of frustration speak louder than words. They tell the opponent, you are in my head.
After the game, Avery Bradley discussed overhearing Rajon Rondo telling the team that the Celtics had already given up.
Whether it be poor body language. poor choices, or poor execution, the Celtics are quickly running out of room for error against the Chicago Bulls who are gaining more confidence by the game. Unlike the Celtics, the Bulls look like a team that has been there before.
The great Celtics teams of the past won by sacrificing for the team and demonstrating both mental and physical toughness. Smart’s antics are a demonstration of unprofessional-ism, immaturity, and an overall lack of composure. It is not the Celtic way. If this Celtics team wishes to be as great as the teams that have been immortalized in the rafters, or even a team that will get out of the first round, the must learn the Celtic way in a hurry.
Friday evening, the Celtics will come to the Madhouse on Madison,. Despite their inconsistent play and frustrated fan-base, the Bulls were second in attendance this season and their home-court advantage will be substantially less friendly than the Garden. Game three is the game the Celtics need to show that they do in fact belong and that they are not intimidated by the Bulls and their playoff experienced veterans.
The play of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo have arguably saved their best basketball as Bulls for the Celtics in this series. Rondo and Wade have played in a combined 260 post-season games with four titles to show for it. Despite being a substantial underdog, the composure and familiarity with the playoff basketball have been pivotal to the Bulls success thus far. They have proven that they can respond to the pressure, which is the next step in the development of the Stevens Celtics.
While the Bulls are looking for their third win of the series, Stevens is looking for the third win of his playoff career and in doing so get off the top of this list that ESPN dug up earlier today.
Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information
These stats are as misleading as the series has been thus far. Brad Stevens is a great coach. The Celtics are at the very least, a very good team. But, in order to prove it, Stevens and the Celtics need to ask themselves what it means to be a Celtic and how the banners that they hope to see again in a game five got their. The answer is not emotionally motivated and selfish actions. Its time for the Celtics to get smart.