Routinely Bouncing Back After Tough Playoff Losses In Celtics DNA

The Celtics are 4-0 this postseason following a loss


May 20, 2022

It’s become almost predictable at this point for the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics have lost four times during their current run in the NBA playoffs, some more deflating than others but always bringing a sky is falling feeling, at least for those outside the team.

But after each one of those losses, the Celtics have answered back with a win each time.

It’s who these Celtics are, a resilient group that knows how to respond when adversity hits and they turned in a very loud response by pulverizing the Miami Heat, 127-102, in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night at FTX Arena to even up the best-of-seven series at one-all.

“Since I’ve been in the NBA, the difference between the years that we’ve been really good and not so good, just how you respond,” Celtics star Jayson Tatum said following the victory. “You’re not going to win every game you play. There are really good players and really talented teams in the NBA, but I think a sign of a good team is how you respond after losses, especially tough ones. It just kind of shows the character of the group. We’ve done a really good most of the year responding after tough losses and situations.”

The Celtics fell into another series deficit — they trailed the Milwaukee Bucks by a game in the East semifinals three separate times — against the Heat by turning in a disastrous third quarter in which Miami outscored Boston, 39-14.

According to coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics took their failures in that dreadful stanza to heart and knew they were more like the team that outscored the Heat in the other three quarters.

“I think we were upset with how that third quarter went, specifically how we got out-toughed,” Udoka said. “Wasn’t a lot of schemes or defensive or offensive changes and they just came out and kind of punked us in that third quarter, and so we looked at the three quarters and how well we had done winning those quarters, and knew if we just matched their physicality we could be better.”

Two days later, the Celtics came out and were the best version of themselves, knocking down 3-pointers consistently and making everything tough for Miami on the offensive end.

Since the end of January, the Celtics have lost back-to-back games only once and proved again that overcoming obstacles is part of the fabric of their team.

“I think our guys have bounced back really well all year, especially the second half of the year,” Udoka said. “Haven’t lost two games in a row in a while. I think adding Marcus (Smart) and Al (Horford) back gave us a little boost as far as that. Guys have pride and looked at a golden opportunity that we kind of lost and thought we could do much better and did that tonight.”

Thumbnail photo via Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports Images
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