I almost turned the game off with four minutes left and the Celtics desperately behind. Almost. Then I remembered the resiliency that this core has shown over the past half dozen years and I stuck with it and was rewarded by one of the most amazing comebacks that I can remember in my 40+ years of following the Celtics
Yeah, I mean, it wasn't 2008 NBA Finals Game 4, or 2002 ECF Game 3 (Pierce's 26-pt comeback vs the Nets), but for regular-season resiliency it's right up there. And like, comebacks where you get in a big hole in the first half and fight your way out of it in the 2nd half happen. And we've seen this team over the last few years take their defense to 5th gear and just plain shut teams down, giving themselves the window to come back. But it's a very different thing to have a 20-point lead, blow it so spectacularly you wonder if you're even playing 5-on-5, feel like the floor is tilted against you... and then right the ship and execute a 13-point comeback in the final 4 minutes before blowing them away in OT. The game wasn't a turnaround story, it was a roller coaster.
Man did that suck to watch in the second half though.
EDIT. It isn’t ten key play videos because the cameramen missed the sneaky Marcus Smart steal that started the Lakers late decline after the GW three cut the lead to 10
They didn't, though! Not entirely. The main overhead camera missed it, but watching live, they showed a replay that had a sideline camera that caught it. I dunno if it was before or after the timeout but they showed it. There is definitely footage out there of Marcus doing Marcus Things.
And LeBron's hero ball 3 at the end never had a chance. Beating LA is good.
They were so visibly exhausted at that end of the game, even conditioning freaks like Lebron had absolutely nothing left in the tank. That's like the hidden secret of most pro sports, conditioning and stamina. It's no secret in tennis or soccer, and it's no factor in baseball, but except when it becomes painfully obvious that a guy is totally
gassed and has no remaining ability to move, you just don't see much mention of it in basketball (or football for that matter). Lebron pulled up for a 3 because he probably couldn't make himself drive, even if the odds of him getting a foul and some FTs was like 80%. If that's Steph Curry in that spot, the 3 goes in, not just because he's Steph but because Steph is a conditioning monster and the 3 is what he's looking for there. That's not the core of Lebron's game, that's not his bread-and-butter, he settled for it. Because he had nothing else.
Also, speaking of conditioning, while Marcus Smart seemed to have his tank on "E" vs the Clippers, he held up really well and was still making good defensive plays and rotations well into overtime. I wonder if he just got enough sleep or something.