The Boston Celtics blew the third quarter because that’s who they are. Wishful thinking is everywhere in sports and we're all guilty of it. So a team you watch - like the Celtics - can showcase a great game on both ends.
Then we see stretches where the Celtics look lost. They look like they have the compatibility of a just formatted All-Star team - instead of the team that spent the good part of five years playing together. So to say this team is not only capable but predicted to have stretches of play where no matter who is on the court, it looks like the team has invisible blindfolds on - you would be right. This is who they are.
It comes from the leader
Jayson Tatum, the inexperienced young leader, came out flat in the second half - which is now something he was having to pencil in. The same goes for the whole team. You should be nervous watching the Celtics miss their first two shots of a quarter - because they will spiral. Part of this is because they don’t have a fundamental point guard.
A veteran playmaker to control the pace and make sure guys get their shots enough. Marcus Smart is fantastic, but if they were to have even someone as old as Chris Paul on the Celtics, that would be perfect. So that’s one. The other is because they haven't won a championship yet.
When watching the Warriors, even with these newcomers - they look relaxed. There's a certain flair about them. A cockiness.
Draymond Green perfectly played the Celtics. He got in their faces early on; he pushed around the young team and subsequently flopped for fouls. That wasn’t some impulsive, emotional reaction. That was an experienced move that worked. It got the fans involved, it frustrated the Celtics, and even if it had zero residual effect other than giving Jayson Tatum a foul, that is valuable.
So when you watch the Celtics, their identity is a team that fumbles, one that doesn’t know precisely what it takes to play four quarters, and has their inexperience exposed. Just like they are known for a team that is just as unstoppable as other teams in the league when firing. But while the Warriors are more consistent with their play, their not the module of success.
There are still questions to be answered
I’m not going to sit here and explain to you how Andrew Wiggins has the uncanny ability to switch from a superman to a vanished ghost within quarters. But what about Klay Thompson? Because Game 6 could not come fast enough. Whether Klay makes it back to his old self eventually or not - it's not happening in this series. Pencil in 15 points on 30% shooting. That's not good.
Thankfully, Jordan Poole finally had his excellent game against the Celtics, making it more and more likely he will have another soon. But as for the rest of the Warriors, the next thing to see is how they match up with Robert Williams when he plays legitimate minutes? Will Steph have a second star for three more games? Will Looney and Draymond contribute offensively?