Celtics Bounce Raps
It took every minute in a seven-game streak, but the reigning champions gave up their title. The Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors, 92-87, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Series semifinals, pushing Boston into the fourth round and sending the Raptors home after a brilliant title defense that few expected. Jason Tatum led the way in Boston with 29 points and Fred Van Fleet was Toronto’s top scorer with 20 points.
The Celtics will now face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, a game that looks familiar but doesn’t include any of the faces from their previous encounters. Odonis Haslim is the only player from both teams to participate in the last Eastern Conference final between these two teams in 2012. For a long time, LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Hello Tatum and Jimmy Butler.
Boston hasn’t scored a basket in the last 5:20 of the competition, but has found its way back in the winner-take-all competition. She did this by drawing on her highly regarded distinctive traits.
Whether it was Marcus Smart’s brilliant shot from behind at Norman Powell 58.2 seconds before the end, Tatum’s effort on the offensive glass after a missed free throw 34.9 seconds before the end, or Grant Williams’ strong defense against Fred Van Fleet that closed the game, Boston just figured out how, how – to accomplish it as a group.
“You turned the ball, we missed a few shots, and you just need to put on your shorts, grind and defend,” Tatum said of the time limit. “Stop. Recovery. Don’t make excuses. There are four or five minutes left – it’s time to win. Do whatever it takes. ”
The Celtics did the same, and now they’ve secured their ticket to the NBA Final Four for the third time in four seasons. But this trip is different.
It’s different because of the fun of being out of the locker room; Celebrate and appreciate these players.
In recent years, there were players who turned on the lights. There were others who were looking.
This is not a bad thing. I worked for these teams. But for this team, it’s all about sharing the limelight and getting back on its feet.
Jaylen Brown attended his post-game press conference and hasn’t said a word himself. His words revolved around the people around him. Who lifts it up every day.
Talk about learning and growing with Tatum. Talk about Kimba Walker’s humble leadership. Talk in general terms of the positivity that sums up this list on a daily basis.
“It’s a great group. A tough group,” said Brown. “We have a lot of hearts. Too many fights around us. We don’t shy away from challenges. That’s what we need from each other. It’s inspiring to be in the locker room with these guys.”
“Inspiring,” said the 23-year-old, describing his teammates.
“I am grateful to be with these men,” he added.
Then there’s Walker, who was stuck in Purgatory in Charlotte for the first eight years of his career – he was never on a team good enough to make it from the first round of the playoffs, but never on a team that was pretty bad. Finalize the talent with a draft.
Walker came to Boston as a free agent for this exact experience. He wanted to win, whatever his role.
During the series, as Toronto suffocates him with a square and a zone, his role is to play ball and let his teammates get to work. He did so without hesitation.
The score was Tatum with an average of 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game throughout the series, while Brown averaged 20.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 interceptions per game.
These two players, along with Smart, have led Boston throughout the series. Walker stepped in when needed, and it suits him.
“It’s everything I expected,” he said while teaming up with the young stars of Boston. “I knew how cool these guys were. I knew how hard they worked. I knew they were rising stars. I just felt like I could help them grow a little bit. That’s all I did. was expecting me. It was so much fun being with these guys. ”
The feeling is mutual. The Celtics have not shied away from recognizing the importance of Walker as the primary leader, someone who adds positive energy to the room every day. His presence gave the Celtics more happiness in their success.
“I’m really happy for him,” Walker’s Brad Stevens said after Friday’s win. “He deserves to try this. He’s very good at basketball. He loves the game. He’s a great teammate. He doesn’t care if he gets glory. He’s just a special guy. ”
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