While Game 4 May Not Be Must-Win for Celtics, Importance is Clear


While Game 4 May Not Be Must-Win for Celtics, Importance is Clear Doc Rivers
has never been a big fan of the term “must-win.” What does it mean to say that you “must” win a game? What if you don’t? Is it the end of the world?

A game is either an elimination game or it’s not. And in the Celtics’ case, Game 4 on Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Cavaliers is not. The C’s are down 2-1 going into this weekend’s tilt at the TD Garden, and while things don’t look good at this juncture, the team has time to regroup.

Opinions varied around Celtics practice Saturday about the “must” factor of Sunday’s Game 4 coming off an embarrassing loss at the Garden on Friday night.

“You kind of let that game go away,” Kendrick Perkins said. “You move on. Like Doc says, you can’t live in the past. So the good thing about this is we’ve got a chance to tie it up 2-2 going back to Cleveland. I feel like this is a must-win for us.”

A must-win? Even at 2-1 with plenty of series left ahead? It sounds dire.

So really, how important is it to win Sunday?

“You don’t even need to ask that question,” Ray Allen said. “That’s not a question that you need to ask this team. Every understands the importance. I said last night that these games, from one game to the next, the intensity does go up.”

The Celtics are a veteran team. They’ve got mature players and smart, rational emotional leaders. They know what they’ve got to do.

“The loss obviously didn’t sit well with anybody here,” Kevin Garnett said. “So we’ve got to be a lot more firm tomorrow, a lot more aggressive. We’ve got to defend our home court.”

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