Coming off a blowout defeat and losing their star player to an injury, everybody turned his back on the Boston Celtics and did not give them a chance of pulling off an upset, even just for a game, against the streaking defending Champions Cleveland Cavaliers.
(Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)
No Isaiah Thomas. They trailed by as much as 21. They entered the game seemingly demoralized after a 44-point drubbing in Game 2. But suddenly they knew it’s just 0-2, and a win would make it a series again.
The Q was celebrating at halftime. The world was already talking about the Cavs vs Warriors in the Finals even before both their respective series consummate. Then there were these overlooked guys in green, wearing more weapons behind their backs.
Come the second half, the Cavs were caught off guard. Guys like Marcus Smart and Jonas Jerebko wreaking havoc to straggle the C’s closer, and before everybody knew it, the game was already going down the wire.
Lebron James was off all night long. So it took Kyrie Irving and JR Smith to pick up the slack in the clutch with the latter tying the game at 108 with about 10 seconds to,
One final play for the Celtics to complete to stunner.
Smart directed the last traffic with James on him. Al Horford set a pin down on Tristan Thompson on the weak side while Avery Bradley offered a cross-screen on JR Smith, forcing a switch on Iman Shumpert. But Shumpert’s man, Jae Crowder, quickly rolled to the shaded lane as both Smith and Shumpert scrambled to chase him. 4.3 ticks left.
Bradley seized the gap, immediately popped out behind Horford’s screen. Smart located him all alone before letting it fly. It bounced off, it bounced in. Ball game. And all that -16.5 Cleveland spread was negated, even the talks of sweeping the series until they meet Steph Curry and Kevin Durant in the Finals.
As they say, it ain’t over till it’s over. It was proven in this game, it might be proven in the series.