Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“It’s going to be crazy,” Bucks forward Khris Middleton told reporters after Milwaukee’s win. “It’s do or die at this point. The crowd in Boston is rowdy, just like they are here. It’s going to be a great game. There are no secrets between teams. It comes down to who has more will.”
“We definitely don’t want to take a step back, and, you know, we don’t plan on it,” Smart said. “You’ve got one game and it’s on our court. We’ve just got to bring it.
“We don’t plan on taking a step back. Our mentality is still strong, and our mentality is we’re going to take it at home.”
Back in the Red & Russ days, the Celtics had wrapped up the top seed in the east, and were kind of coasting a bit going into the end of the season.
They were still winning most of the time, and winning fairly easily at that, but they weren’t playing their best, and Red knew it.
He called Bill into his office and, in no uncertain terms, told Russell that he expected the team to play better.
Russell objected (as who would not? It’s a long season, and why should a guy wear himself out in meaningless games).
Then Red gave him the kicker: “If you let these guys think they can compete with you, they’ll be able to compete with you.”
That’s where Milwaukee is at. These are two very young teams (Horford and Baynes notwithstanding), and so much of what’s gone right–or wrong–for the Celtics has to do with where their heads are at, not their skills.
Middleton and Giannis have 299 of Milwaukee’s 617 points so far. That’s a ludicrous stat for a team that’s forced a game 7. No team that reliant on two guys should be able to force a seven game series against even the “hospital Celtics*”–that they’ve been able to says a lot about their confidence when they’ve played in Milwaukee, and about the Celtics’ inability to stay focused and on-task on the road.
In the next round, the Celtics are facing another incredibly young team–and it remains to be seen if this series has taught them to play the next series with more poise and composure.
*hat tip to the Riffsman
Page 2: Where we’d like to see a bit of this… or this…
After Tommy’s appearance at the Bruins’ game 7 on Wednesday, I wouldn’t mind seeing one of these legends show up tonight for ye olde Celtics.
‘Twould be appropriate to bring in a legendary defenseman to pump up the crowd for a team that really needs to get back to defending well.
Finally: Elsewhere in the league
I’m there for this. I’m so very, very, very there for this.
(In case you missed it, the Pacers, facing elimination, beat the Cavs by 34 points last night, dang near outscoring them by a 2 to 1 margin. Victor “Sam Presti got PG for WHAT? He’s a genius!!!” Oladipo had a triple double, but Lance Stephenson (who is now, for some reason, sporting a LeBron beard) stole the show.
The Ringer also got off a particularly good tweet last night: