Boston is putting up the same bold front that they have the entire series after their Game 4 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the 112-99 defeat, once again the talent disparity between the two teams was on full display as Kyrie Irving poured in 42 points for Cleveland.
There was reason for enthusiasm heading into that game against the Cavs because of their surprising win in Game 3 of this series. Without their leader Isaiah Thomas, the club went into Quicken Loans Arena and snatched a victory that no one saw coming but their locker room.
Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to translate as they came out blistering hot in the first quarter but faltered as the game went on. The hero of the previous game, Marcus Smart was a lackluster 1-9 from the floor and made a bank-in three from straight away as his only bucket.
Still, headed back home for Game 5, Avery Bradley is promising Celtics fans that his team isn’t going out without a fight. He talked to ASAP Sports about the prospect of returning to the TD Garden to try and extend the series to a sixth game.
Bradley said: “I think just taking care of home. We owe our fans a better performance, and we know that, and we’re going to play hard. You’re going to see a team playing hard, very hard, the entire game.
“Obviously we're missing one of our leaders, and the good thing about our team, guys -- even Marcus [Smart] before the game, you know, everyone is just making sure we're all locked in and trying to help in any way we can, and if that's by leading by example or being vocal, whatever it is, we try to fill that void.”
The C’s have their work cut out for them, even with all of the positivity they are giving off before the ball goes up. LeBron James is 11-0 in closeout games after being up 3-1. Last time that Cleveland saw the Garden floor, they might as well have set it ablaze.
Word has even come down that the Celtics are probably going to be without rookie Jaylen Brown in this one as he joins the growing list of injured players. Isaiah Thomas and Amir Johnson have also been taken out of action by various factors.
However, simply trying hard isn’t going to get the job done and it has become clear that the gap between how the Celtics will actually be able to perform in this series and how they think of their chances might not end up mattering too much.