The Celtics, through all of the injuries this season, have found the perfect mix of attitude and motivation, the cliche “chip on the shoulder” that Rozier has embraced and passed onto his teammates.
“I think it’s part of the motivation, everybody writing us off,” Rozier said. “Everybody’s got the negative things to say but we’ve got each other and that’s the main important thing. We go into the game and Brad gives us the game plan and we take care of business.”
This Celtics team doesn’t always scream at you (ala Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce). This unit is much more a reflection of their calm, cool and calculated head coach, who insisted this series is not over. After all, that’s his job.
“We better play with an edge, better play competitive, better be tough, can’t let go of that,” Stevens cautioned going into Friday’s Game 3 in Milwaukee. “You don’t have a chance if you don’t do that. That’s kind of who we’ve been. We’ve got very good players, we’ve got versatile players, we’ve got very confident players. We care about the game, we care about each other but first and foremost, we’ve got really competitive guys. You don’t compete you get beat. The game will be honest.
“If we don’t, we’ll get beat by 30.”
The way the Celtics are playing together right now, that’s unfathomable.
Boston’s two leaders up on the podium postgame Tuesday offered a different perspective, reflecting on where they were last year after dropping Games 1 and 2 to Chicago at home.
“Last year first round we were down 0-2. We weren’t in panic mode, but we were just trying to move people around, trying to see what we can do,” Rozier said. “This year we’re 2-0, going on the road, but I think we all understand that we have to play like it’s still even because we know it’s going to be tough on the road. They’re going to be physical, so we just have to keep our heads on straight and take care of business on the road. That’s the important thing.”
“Last year was a whole different vibe in the locker room entering the series against Chicago being the one seed being down two games,” Brown added. “Now, being the two seed, up two games it just shows how good the NBA is and how good people are. We are not taking anybody light, coming to Milwaukee. I know they’re going to come out and make adjustments, so we have to come out and try to get Game 3.”