#discipline #mental #strength #Celtics #stay
On the tightrope since the Bucks’ jaw-dropping Game 5 victory in Boston, the Celtics trembled but held on. Victorious in Game 6 at Wisconsin on the shoulders of a sensational Jayson Tatum, Boston had its team talking to win in the deciding round and eliminate the defending champion.
Like Grant Williams, exemplary as a “role player”, or in the same vein Payton Pritchard, who came off the bench like a walking firecracker, the Celtics have shown impressive collective cohesion.
“We didn’t want it to end”
Despite the good start of the game by Giannis Antetokounmpo that was almost a triple-double in the only first quarter, and the clumsiness of Grant Williams and even Jayson Tatum’s foul problems, Boston kept the faith and continued to trust in their game plan. .
“Looks like we finally got tired of them” laughed Ime Udoka in The Athletic.
Generally better armed, especially in the absence of Khris Middleton, the Celtics managed to stay the course by offering several options to the Bucks’ defense. Not giving in to loss of confidence or despair in the face of the Greek tornado, Boston fought back like a champion.
“We played two games in which our season was at stake”, recalls Jaylen Brown. “We didn’t want it to end. We couldn’t get through everything we got through earlier in the season to stop there. »
Already badly embarked at the beginning of the season, with 23 wins and 24 losses until the end of January, the Celtics managed to change course based on work and repetition under the orders of their coach, Ime Udoka, architect of this new team, a model of its kind in defense.
“As a head coach, the only difference I find [par rapport au rôle d’assistant], is that I don’t see the faces in the public, I don’t hear the crowd. I am fully focused on what is happening on the pitch. Everybody was telling me how loud I was in the hall and I never heard it…until this game. »
“Enough character to go all the way”
Starting from the head coach to the last player on the end of the bench, the C’s were on a mission. After opting at the end of the regular season not to distort the playoff table by accepting the omen of a high-stakes matchup with Brooklyn in the first round, Jayson Tatum and his family took over.
“I have progressed in the sense that I am better prepared. Obviously I’m tired after every game, but my body is more mature since my third season.” adds Jayson Tatum. “I feel stronger and take better care of my body. As a result, I feel better prepared for each game. My body is recovering better compared to my third season. »
Against the defending champion, with his two-time MVP as well, Jaylen Brown and the Celtics not only showed heart, they may well have learned a valuable lesson for the future: discipline allows you to take hits and recover.
“Giannis is simply relentless in his approach”Jaylen Brown explains. “He is aggressive all the time. He doesn’t accept being pushed back, and he was tough on us. This whole series, his level of physicality has put us in a bind. But we stayed disciplined and increased our aggressiveness, it was amazing. »
For the fourth time in the last six years, Boston is among the top two teams in its conference. This time, however, the Celtics seem to have a little more soul, perseverance and heart to get through this stage and reach the Finals…
“It’s a group that I think has enough character to go all the way.” Jaylen Brown concludes. “With everything we’ve come through, all the battles and challenges and adversity we’ve been through this season, not to mention the win over the defending champion that we just did, I think we’re ready. We’re ready to take the next step. We have to go look for it.”
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