The Boston Celtics and their first round foe Atlanta Hawks both had early exits from the 2015 NBA Playoffs. For the Celtics, it was an early first round bow out at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.. For the Hawk, it was all the way in the Eastern Conference Finals where they were swept by the same Cavaliers.
Fast forward to the 2016 playoffs and the Atlanta Hawks who digressed by 12 games entering the 2016 playoffs while the Celtics improved by eight games, and while the Hawks have won the season series, the Celtics know that the playoffs is where it really counts.
When lifetime Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant announced that he was heading into retirement, the rest of the NBA took a collective gasp. Now, Lakers fans are gasping again with the announcement that Kobe’s favorite color is…green.
“It’s been my favorite color forever,” Bryant said. “I’ve always loved it. It’s a little weird, isn’t it?”
Bryant was of course referring to the long standing rivalry between the Lakers and the Celtics. For this game, Bryant is planning on having his family on hand for the event.
“I’m looking forward to them getting the chance to see the city a little bit and then just experience the green,” he said. “It’s just a different green. I want them to be able to see that.”
For the Celtics, their mindset cannot be on Kobe Bryant as they continue to find themselves as a team, reeling off five victories in a row. With the Lakers struggling, they are looking to make it six in a row.
“Our focus can’t be on (Kobe). It’s got to be on us. It’s got to be on us playing well. It’s got to be on us getting better,” coach Brad Stevens said. “I don’t think there’s any question that all of our players respect and appreciate all that he’s accomplished as a player.”
The Boston Celtics (14-11) got behind against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers last night and could never quite climb back out of the hole they dug for themselves. Even after taking a 50-45 lead with nine minutes remaining, the Cavaliers went on a 12-0 run and never looked back.
“At the end of the game, when you’re trying to come back, you’re trying to whittle the lead away, they can just get a matchup they like and then keep you at bay because of their talent,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
Now the Celtics must turn their attention to the Detroit Pistons (14-12) tonight. The Pistons are coming off a 105-103 win over the Clippers last night.
“I like our group,” coach Stan Van Gundy told the team’s official website. “It’s stepping up and competing hard against good teams. We’re right there.”