So in my previous “Clover Report”, I wrote how last week may have been the craziest week in recent Celtics’ history. While this week didn’t hit that level, it may have been the craziest swing of emotions. Let’s recap game 2, game 3, and last night’s game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. After coming off well handled in game 1, the Cavaliers had a chance to take a strangle hold on the series. So knowing that, it was to be expected that the Celtics would come out with a greater sense of urgency. And well, that’s not exactly what happened. From the tip, this should have been called the 2017 version of “The Boston Massacre”. Cleveland utterly demolished Boston as they led (this is not a typo) 72—31 at the end of the first half. WHAT?!?! DOWN 40 POINTS AT HALFTIME! WHAT AN UTTER JOKE!!! So yea I had to let off some steam. The final score of this debacle was 130—86. It was the largest defeat in Eastern Conference Finals history and the 2nd worst playoff lost in Boston Celtic history. As much as I love the Celtics, you have to call it like you see it. They quit, no two ways about it. The Cavs are great, but 44 better? No, no they are not. At least it couldn’t get worst… right?
The day after that disaster, it was announced that All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas would be out for the remainder of the playoffs. Talk about a kick to the balls. Thomas had been fighting though a hip injury and he aggravated the labral tear during the first half of game 2. If he were to have surgery, he would be out over 6 months. But the series had to go on as the team traveled to Cleveland. Marcus Smart replaced Thomas in the lineup and everyone, including me, was getting ready for the slater. It sure looked like that in the first half as the Cavs led at home 66—50. The game seemed to be in the Cavs’ hands but the Celtics began to chip away. All of a sudden the Celtics offense began to click and the 3s began to fall. They hit 18 total 3s, 7 from which came from Marcus Smart alone. The Celtics came all the way back to take the lead with 5 minutes to go in the game. The Celtics had the final possession of the game and Avery freaking Bradley once again hit the game winning shot at the buzzer as the Celtics won 111—108! Smart had the game of his life finished with a career high 27 points. Kelly Olynyk and Jonas Jerebko also combined for 25 points off the bench. Talk about a turn of events! According to Las Vegas, the Celtics entered as a +16. That means it was the largest upset in the NBA in 20 years! WOW! Considering what happened the previous two days, this was just sweet.
Going into game 4, the Cavaliers faced real adversity for the first time all postseason. And considering LeBron James only had 11 points in game 3, he was expected to come out on fire. However, it was the Celtics who got out to a hot start as they led 29—19 after the 1st. Then during the 2nd quarter, LeBron James got his 4th foul and had to sit the final 6 minutes of the half. Unfortunately, the Celtics didn’t take advantage of that as they still led by 10 going into halftime. The Cavs had their backs against the wall going into the 3rd and then Kyrie Irving went off. Irving single handedly took the game over as he scored 21 points the 3rd alone and scored a playoff career high 42 points. The Cavaliers went on to win the game as LeBron James also bounced back with 34 points. It was a great effort from the Celtics as they had 4 starters in double figures but it just wasn’t enough.
Now going into Thursday’s Game 5, the Celtics are down 3—1 in the series without their best player. So it’s probably going to be the final game of the year and the Clover Report: Week 32 will most likely be the final report. But considering how this team bounced back in game 3 after that game 2 debacle, everything is gravy. I’m like Harry Potter before he went to face Voldemort, I’m ready to die.
Written By: Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)