Pregame Post-Ups: Playing With Desperation

Friday, September 25 - Game 5 - Heat at Celtics

Pregame – Playing With Desperation

The remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals is officially a win-or-go-home scenario for the Boston Celtics, as they head into Game 5 Friday night trailing the Miami Heat 3-1. That means that it’s time for Boston to start playing with desperation.

In the mind of coach Brad Stevens, there are many specifics that go into playing with desperation, which he detailed shortly ahead of Friday night’s tip-off.

“You want to play like every possession is the last possession of the game,” Stevens said of how the Celtics must play from here on out. “You want to play with great focus on hitting singles with those possessions, and at the same time missing a shot in the early part of the game isn’t going to make or break the game. You also have to play confidently. You also have to play assertively and aggressively. You can’t play timid, so I think that there’s a fine line.”

If that line is crossed, the Celtics could find themselves leaving the bubble earlier than they had hoped. It’s a lot of pressure to handle, but Stevens believes in his group’s ability to stay level-headed in such a situation based on the poise they’ve shown throughout the Playoffs.

“Our thing this whole, entire experience has been to compete with great intentions and do your best to stay in the moment and play as well as we can,” Stevens said. “We’ve had really good moments playing all the way up to this point, including in this series. We haven’t had enough of them when it’s mattered most, and I think that that’s where we have to be even more locked in and taking advantage of every possession.”

If the Celtics can maintain that mindset from here on out, then they’ll be in a great position to win.

- Taylor Snow


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