What Celtics Learned From Warriors’ Shocking NBA Playoff Collapse Vs. Clippers


April 17, 2019

The Boston Celtics have a good reason why their sense of shock quickly gave way to education.

The Golden State Warriors’ epic collapse against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night in Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series reinforced lessons the Celtics recently learned about the importance of playing hard for an entire game. The Clippers set an NBA playoff record by erasing a 31-point deficit, and Celtics forward Al Horford and head coach Brad Stevens are keen to remind their team to be wary of surprise runs during the postseason.

?You know, they?re the back-to-back champs,” Horford told the Boston Herald’s Steve Bullpett. “If it happens to them, anything can happen.

“… So it?s a good reminder. It?s almost humbling. I?m just glad we weren?t the ones it happened to. But it definitely makes me understand that we need to be on top of our game.”

Instead of joining large swaths of the basketball community in laughing about the Warriors’ misfortune, Celtics coach Brad Stevens used the result as an opportunity to reflect on Boston’s Feb. 9 loss to Los Angeles, during which they blew a 28-point lead.

?I?ve said before that was a really tough game, but there?s a lot of game left in the NBA, and there?s many teams that can make that run,” he said. “You have to just keep playing the next possession the right way. It?s hard to do. It?s way easier to play from behind than ahead. You know, there?s just a human nature element where you have to keep the pedal down. It?s just tough. But credit the team that comes back and wins, like the Clippers did against us and (Monday)] night. But, yeah, NBA games are 48 minutes.

?So from our standpoint, we try to talk about being the best we can for as many possessions as possible.”

The Celtics will hope to use the warning they received from the Warriors effectively Wednesday night at TD Garden when they face the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their first-round series.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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