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NBA Finals: Celtics failed to make it out of Game 5 and now they’re on the brink

The very first time the Celtics had possession on a Monday night, Jason Tatum drove past Otto Porter Jr., drove into the lane and spun to hit the ball to Marcus Smart. While Smart was open, Tatum’s pass missed the target and hit the crowd, resulting in a pass.

Hours later, after the Boston Celtics lost Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals 104-94 to the Golden State Warriors and hit the hole in the series 3-2, Tatum sat on the podium and said what everyone was saying. for the entire postseason:

Yes, we need to be better. It’s hard to beat us when we don’t flip the ball. It is clear that we are easy to beat when we turn the ball.

Turnovers were once again a major theme for the Celtics. They just couldn’t take care of the ball, coughing it up 18 times to give the Warriors 22 points. In a low-scoring game, only 10 points decisive, this is the difference that affects the outcome and possibly the streak.

In the Finals, the Warriors turned the Celtics’ 78 losses into 103 points. This is the third-highest point loss in the first five games of the final since 1990. according to ESPN statistics and information. In the 32 years since then, only the Chicago Bulls in 1991 and 1992 have profited more from rival losses.

This exacerbates the situation for the Celtics, who lose the ball in the Finals with 16.3% possession. In nearly one in five possessions, they don’t even give themselves a chance to score, which is bad enough. As a result, they also make it easier for the Warriors to score on the other end, allowing them to play in transition rather than against an established defense.

It was the third time in the series that the Celtics had 16 or more losses. All three of those games were losses. For the entire playoff run, the Celtics are now 1-7 when they turn it over 16-plus times and 13-2 when they manage to stay below 16 assists.

Of course, the Warriors deserve a lot of credit. It is no coincidence that they have become one of the best defensive teams in the league this season. They are smart, well-trained and have increased the intensity and pressure in recent games.

“It’s a really good defensive team,” said Jaylen Brown. ‚ÄúDisciplined and healthy. They forced us to do something that obviously we are not the best at. We just need to keep getting to know the game, seeing the game and making adjustments to the game. Take care of the ball when it falls.” to that”.

At the same time, much of this turnover problem was the result of the Celtics’ negligence and inexplicable errors. Inaccurate passes, loss of control of the position on the court, careless handling of the ball, bad decisions – it was all in the fifth game, as well as in the playoffs.

Midway through the second quarter, already 12 points behind in the decider, Tatum comes on the court and passes behind Robert Williams III. Draymond Green goes the other way and gets to the line by two free throws. Such games have nothing to do with another team and they cannot take place in the NBA Finals.

Now in the third quarter, the Celtics are gaining momentum and are about to take the lead. Al Horford catches the rebound, races up the floor into traffic and attempts a running dribbling pass from Jaylen Brown despite the Celtics having no numbers. They mishandle the ball and the Warriors earn two free throws for Clay Thompson. There was no reason to force action. Once you see that you don’t have an advantage, just make a smart play and fold up.

“Another game with too many turnovers,” Brown said. “It cost us.”

The Celtics weren’t themselves in Game 5. Or maybe they were, and that’s the problem. On Monday night, they couldn’t get out of their way, and now they’re on the brink.

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