The Boston Celtics’ season came to screeching halt Sunday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers came into TD Garden and grabbed an 87-79 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
It was an unbelievable ride for a young Celtics team without its two best players, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. While the C’s didn’t have enough in the tank to overtake LeBron James on a stage he has owned for most of his career, the future is unquestionably bright for Boston.
That being said, the day after a season-ending loss is all about what could have been, and a number of Celtics voiced their thoughts Monday on what was an ugly Game 7 against the Cavs.
For rookie star Jayson Tatum, it was a tough ending to his first season in the NBA.
“We had something special this year,” Tatum said, per Celtics.com. “So when it ends like it is today, everyone took it pretty hard.”
Center Aron Baynes likened the loss to that of his San Antonio Spurs team in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals against James and the Miami Heat.
Second-year guard Jaylen Brown lamented the team’s missed opportunities in a winnable game against Cleveland.
“It’s tough to swallow,” Brown said, via Celtics.com. “I didn’t sleep much last night. I’m disappointed, disappointed in myself. It was tough. We expected, you know, more. We expected to come here Monday, we expected to be preparing for the NBA Finals. We’re not.”
Brown added: “Missed opportunities. I think we just had every opportunity to win that game. We held them to (87 points), all we had to do was put the ball through the basket and that’s the one thing we struggled with. And that’s the tough thing because obviously I didn’t hit shots and we didn’t hit shots, but if we did we would have won that game.”
Boston has nothing to hang its head over, losing to James is something countless championship contenders have experienced, and this playoff run should pay dividends in the future.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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