The Celtics coach's message to his players was that he doesn't want them going there either if they are looking to use officiating or foul trouble as an excuse for Monday night's 103-92 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The mastermind of Boston's impressive 3-0 series lead is the Celtics' 41-year- old head coach Brad Stevens.
"Obviously, it is a pretty special and the most unforgettable moment in the game series", McConnell said. "We could spend a couple of hours in practice doing more rebounding drills". I'm not one that was ever taught to play with our food, so when it comes down to it, we gotta finish it. Through the first four games of this series, the Celtics are right on point with their normal 3-point shooting (53-141, 37.6%), while the Sixers have been unable to match their season-long accuracy (34-115, 29.6%). The lead changed two more times before the Celtics took a 61-52 lead into intermission.
After almost averaging a triple-double against Miami, Simmons has looked every bit like a rookie at times this round. He finished with 14 points, six rebounds and six assists off the bench, while the not-usually-known-for-his-scoring Baynes had 13 points in just 24 minutes (plus nine rebounds). With less than 30 seconds left in overtime, Joel Embiid missed a jumper and Simmons rebounded the ball with 18 seconds left on the clock. He tried to miss the second on objective but made it, but then sealed the win for Boston by picking off Ben Simmons' court-long pass. And then we're gonna get into practice tomorrow, talk about it. "The way they prepare and the way we've been so resilient all season, it doesn't surprise me at this point". The Celtics swapped spots with the Sixers before last year's draft, and this year's rookie class is under the microscope in this series, even beyond the struggles of Ben Simmons.
The Sixers' strategy was to have McConnell defend Terry Rozier, the Celtics' feisty guard who had averaged 22.3 points in the first three games of the series.
"He's got guts", Stevens said of Tatum after Game 3. "Sometimes I think we misconstrue some of these slight guys when they come out of college for not being tough but he's tough and very competitive". He came up with several clutch plays down the stretch, including a pivotal tip-in and assist as time was winding down in the fourth quarter.
"I just switched my mindset around to knowing I'll probably be playing a little bit more minutes and just have to be ready", McConnell said. "I missed some shots that I normally make there, but I made that one, so it was good". "But Marcus delivered it, great pass".