INDIANAPOLIS — The Celtics so called “death lineup” has returned. This time maybe for good.
The dream team starting 5 of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward – which faltered to start the season and had to be broken up – is back.
They closed out Wednesday’s game two win and they did it again Friday night in Indiana and all is right in the universe once again.
“It just shows we’ve come a long way in terms of our maturity as a group,” Irving said. “Just our mindset of whoever’s on the floor, making sure that we’re giving each other confidence and we’re all in the right spots and we’re all doing the little things to assure the win. When you have that type of camaraderie going into huddles, everyone’s talking, everyone’s feeling great.”
Of course the two man chemistry between Irving and Horford is something we’ve seen quite a bit of throughout the season and was on full display in the closing moments on Friday night as well. The veteran duo combined for 12 of Boston’s final 16 points en route to a 104-96 win.
“I think that you just find a balance in getting in the paint,” Irving told reporters after the game. “Al’s going to be in the right place. It’s my job to deliver the ball on time and make sure I get it right in that bread basket, right in his shot pocket where’s he able to just go up and shoot and make some big time plays. Obviously, that’s something we can go to pretty frequently, but I think that when the game is going the way it was going tonight, it’s better to get everyone else involved and you saw that tonight.”
“Those two are really good players,” said head coach Brad Stevens. “The best thing to do in that moment is to keep it simple, figure out what the defense is doing and react to it. We’ve seen a lot over the last 85 games about how they react to Al and Kyrie and then guarding Kyrie. Some of the shots he hit-he had the driving layup which was a good move, but the little floating shot was just a joke. He’s ridiculous.”
The Celtics are now up 3 games to none with a chance to close out the series on Easter Sunday in Indianapolis.