BOSTON — After three straight losses, including two at home, it doesn’t seem likely that the Celtics are poised to go on a three-game winning streak to overthrow the Milwaukee Bucks.
But after a 113-101 Game 4 loss, Kyrie Irving isn’t ready to wave the white flag, saying he is still confident in Boston’s group.
“It’s unwavering. It’s unwavering,” Irving said of his confidence in the Celtics’ capability of turning the series around. “It’s the game of basketball. At this point we obviously understand the x’s and o’s, it’s just going and trying to manage the game better. We tried to do that the last few games.”
The Celtics were managing things well for much of the first half against the bucks, driving to the lane and drawing contact to force the Bucks into foul trouble. But Boston could not capitalize on key stretches, getting outscored 33-23 in a third quarter that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton just the majority of on the bench.
Irving says he remains confident because according to him, the Celtics know exactly what they need to do to turn the series around.
“Just their runs, managing their runs better,” Irving said. “Mike (Budenholzer) does a great job of calling plays on the fly. Plays that have worked all series, know that this is their bread and butter, they’re hot and they are scoring at a high clip on these particular plays, these three plays.
“Regardless of whether we switch or make adjustments he still knows that’s something he can go to,” he added. “So I think that gives us confidence to look at film and know exactly what those plays. We just have to guard them better.”
Even with that knowledge, the Celtics still face a monumental uphill climb to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. Outside the fact that Milwaukee has looked the better side three games in a row, the Bucks have not lost two-straight games at home all season.
And with the way Irving has been shooting the ball of late, things need to turn around quickly.