The Boston Celtics gave a valiant effort in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks last weekend, falling by just a point 102-101, and Game 2 was a lot less pretty, an 89-72 loss, but all that is in the rear view mirror for the C’s.
In need of four wins in their next five games to reach the second round of the NBA playoffs, the Celtics will perhaps be most desperate in Friday night’s Game 3 at TD Garden, as no team in NBA history has ever come back from down 3-0 to win a series.
Defensively, the Celtics haven’t been all that bad in their first two games, but their season-worst offensive performance in Game 2 was the number one downfall of the team. Boston looked out of sorts without starting guard Avery Bradley, who could be out for the rest of the series with a hamstring injury. Small forward hasn’t looked like himself either, and is battling through a late-season ankle injury. Defensively, Crowder has been huge in shutting down star Atlanta forward Paul Millsap, but Crowder himself has struggled at the offensive end of the floor. In the first two games of the series, Crowder has chipped in just 16 points on 6-for-25 shooting.
Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas is currently the leading scorer in the series, with 27 and 16 points in Games 1 and 2 respectively, and he will need to put in another strong offensive effort to help the C’s to a much-needed Game 3 win. Whether it is Crowder or another member of the Celtics, someone else has to step up in Game 3 as well to get the Celtics back in the series.
Games 3 and 4 from the TD Garden tip off on Friday and Sunday, and tickets to both games are available HERE.