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No Need to Panic for the Boston Celtics

BOSTON – After a split in San Francisco and a split in Boston, the NBA Finals matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics turns into a best-of-three series. 

While Game 4 was a disappointing one for the Celtics, who seemingly controlled the game most of the way, there are a lot of positives to take away from the loss. It took an absolute monster performance by Steph Curry, which was to be expected at some point, one of Andrew Wiggins’ best games this postseason and a lot of sloppy play by the Celtics for the Warriors to grind out the win. 

Curry played out of his mind going 14-26, putting up 43 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. It was only a matter of time before Curry had a monster game, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Warriors, as they avoided going down 3-1 in the series. However, even with Curry’s heroics and Wiggins notching 17 points and a career-high 16 boards, the win did not come easy for the Warriors. 

The Celtics became their own worst enemy again as they racked up 16 turnovers which inevitably turned into 19 Warriors points, and the boys in green missed five of their 19 free throws. The struggles didn’t end there for the Celtics as their offense disappeared midway through the final quarter as the team could not buy a basket.  Through all of this, the Celtics commanded the game for a majority of the time, and kept the game within reach until the final seconds. 

“I just got to be better, I know I can be better. It’s not like I’m myself and my team is asking me to do something I’m not capable of.” said Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum. “They know the level and I know the level I can play at. It’s kind of on me to do that more often than not. You know, just help my team in the best way I can… It’s kind of like my job.”

Through the first four games of the Finals, Tatum is averaging 22.3 points per game on 34.1% shooting from the field, 7.8 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game. Tatum is shooting 45.2% from beyond the arc, which is up from his 37.6% during the previous 18 playoff games. 

In spite of his recent struggles, Tatum’s teammates have rallied around him. Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart had some words of encouragement for Tatum as the team heads back to San Francisco for Game 5.
“We just constantly let him know, keep going. This isn’t your first time being in a slump. Won’t be the last time. You gotta figure it out. We trust you, we believe in you. This is what you’re made for. Jayson has to figure it out. We have to do a good job helping him.” said Smart. “You know, him being the player he is, these are the moments where he has to come alive and figure it out. He will. We don’t know when it is, but we’re sure it’s going to happen soon, we’re ready for it, and we’re here to back him up.”

Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks, Game 6 against the Miami Heat, and now Game 4 against the Warriors. All three of those losses came at home for the Celtics and put them in a do-or-die position, and the results of the first two series speak for themselves. 

So, after Curry’s herculean performance, Wiggins’ career night and a lot of Boston mistakes, this team has to feel pretty good about their chances going forward. As long as they fix the little things, and continue to respond to resiliency as they have all season, it’s safe to say the Celtics are in a pretty good position going forward, because championship teams find a way. The Celtics will do everything it takes to find a way. 

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