Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
They never trailed. They made plays down the stretch. Marcus Smart, who called out his teammates after Game 2, scored the Celtics’ final 10 points. It was apropos. Smart played so much under control in Game 3. He finished with 20 points (10-for-10 on free throws), 6 assists, and 4 rebounds.
His change in approach represented that of his team. The Celtics were patient, unselfish, and aggressive. Jaylen Brown attacked the middle of that daunting Miami zone with vigor. He put his imprint on the game from the outset, as if he was anxious to atone for the team’s Game 2 meltdown.
“To be honest, I didn’t get much sleep the last 48 hours. I was so antsy to get back and play basketball,” Brown said. “I don’t think the last two games exemplify what this team is about. So, I couldn’t wait to come out and be the best version of myself and try to add to a win. And I’m glad to be a part of this team and this organization, and I’m proud of how we responded.”
I’m still basking the in the glow of last night’s dominating win. It wasn’t perfect (this team can’t help but ease up), but it was a statement. Not only did the Celtics attack the Heat and bully them, but the right guys were also doing the right things. Just about everyone played their role to perfection.
Love this shot distribution: Tatum 20, Brown 17, Kemba 16, Smart 10, Gordo 7.
— Chuck M. (@RedsArmy_Chuck) September 20, 2020
And, speaking of perfection:
Boston's Best Five lineup of Hayward, Smart, Tatum, Brown, and Kemba played just over six minutes together.
They were 8-for-11 from the field and scored 26 points.
They finished with a 162.5 Off Rtg and 76.5 Def Rtg.
— Bill Sy (@deliberatepix) September 20, 2020
And if you have any doubt about the Celtics not being in the right mindset for Game 4:
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) September 20, 2020
On Page 2, Gordon says he’s in the bubble to stay.
“I think that obviously wasn’t in the plan, getting injured, going back to Indianapolis for treatment,” Hayward said after Saturday’s game. “I trust those guys with everything back there. Obviously a little bit lucky that Robin was there already in Indy so I got a chance to be at home and get great treatment, but that wasn’t in the plan. Robyn could be having a baby at any point in time, so I think it’s probably something that I’ll be here and by the time I get back, I might miss the birth if she just goes in and rushes into the hospital. So we discussed it, we prayed about it, and I think it’s probably best if I stay here and help our team.”
As a selfish Celtics fan, I’m thrilled to learn that Gordon Hayward will not be missing any future games due to his family situation. This is one of the drawbacks of being a professional athlete. Despite all the money, fame, and adoration, the lifestyle sometimes forces you to make difficult choices and miss milestone moments.
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