The Boston Celtics should be in a better position entering Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and head coach Ime Udoka knows it.
The Celtics twice took a one-game advantage in the best-of-seven series, but were unable to cement their hold on it. Their biggest blunder thus far was letting a Game 4 at TD Garden slip away because of a poor performance in clutch time.
“First thing you look at is 2-2,” Udoka told reporters Sunday before a pivotal clash at Chase Center, as transcribed by ASAP Sports. “We obviously put ourselves in the position to stretch the lead and be up 3-1. But bottom line is we’re 2-2 and we earned that, as well, not being down 0-2 or 1-2 or whatever the case may be.”
Udoka made note of how Boston should be in the driver’s seat again Sunday when asked about an unrelated topic — Stephen Curry’s ability to have success in the screen-and-roll game.
” … It’s a balance of both. And the offense, he’s having a successful series offensively,” Udoka said. “But if we are playing offense the right way, we’d be 3-1, at least, right now.”
It’s a sentiment that, while perhaps direct given that it’s coming from the head coach, Green Teamers likely agree with.
The Celtics repeatedly have shot themselves in the foot throughout their postseason run. And Boston continued that trend Friday when presented with another golden opportunity, a chance to go up by two games in front of the home crowd.
Possessing a two-possession lead midway through the fourth quarter, the Celtics were outscored 14-3 in the final five minutes. It follows a trend in which the Celtics have allowed great opportunities to pass them by before ultimately overcoming adversity to keep their title hopes alive.
Boston will look to bounce back again Monday, with tipoff from Chase Center set for 9 p.m. ET. Golden State enters as a 3.5-point home favorite.