Celtics

Karalis: Celtics deviate from the script, but now it’s time to repeat the performance

(Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

The script was written for the Boston Celtics. For once, they didn't follow it.

They were facing a tough team that was beating them up. They couldn't get a bucket for the first 2:13 of the fourth quarter. They had a 24-second violation out of a timeout and a questionable foul, Marcus Smart's fourth, gave Derrick Rose two free throws to push the New York lead to seven.

This was the perfect time for the fragile Celtics to crumble. Except, they didn't.

"We didn’t shoot it perfectly," Brad Stevens said after the game. "We had that stretch at the start of the fourth where we went cold, but just a great response after a tough one last night."

It was a response that saw the Celtics, somehow, overcome another trigger that typically led to a collapse.

With the lead and the ball, the Celtics were poised to throw the game away when Jayson Tatum was bumped off his path and Smart threw the ball to where Tatum was supposed to be, but wasn't. Instead of slumping shoulders or finger pointing, Smart settled everyone down, took the blame, and moved on.

"We were able to stay calm," Smart said. "Something that we’ve been doing all season, we decided not to do and that’s hang our heads after a play like that off of a turnover, and you know, just trust one another; come down and get a stop and go down on the other end and execute.

"In the past, like I said, heads would have probably been hanging and the momentum probably would have shifted to the opponents. But tonight, we just made a big effort to constantly keep going no matter what happened on either end."

Who are these guys?

"Yesterday was a tough one for us. That wasn't our best showing," Jaylen Brown said. "I talked to JT before the game and we almost had to just forget about everything. I said, 'Let's come out and play basketball. Be aggressive and be the best version of ourselves.' There's so much outside noise and shifting around, I just needed to come out and be Jaylen. Our team played great together tonight."

The Celtics are Ferris Bueller running home after his wild day and we're his dad driving next to him in the car.

Did we just see? Wait... was that? Nahhh.