Celtics out to end road woes tomorrow against Cavaliers
WALTHAM, Mass. — Home-court advantage has proven to be a valuable commodity for dthe Celtics so far this postseason.
Boston is 9-0 at TD Garden during these playoffs and has blistered opponents early in games, shooting 47 percent from the field and f39 percent from the 3-point line. It’s often led to cushions that have helped the Celtics sustain opponents’ runs in the second half.
But after boasting the third-best road record in the NBA during the regular season, the Celtics have looked like a totally different team since the postseason began. They are just 1-4 away from their building and seen their shooting numbers dip to 41 percent overall and 31 percent from beyond the arc.
That can’t persist if Boston is going to have success as the series shifts to Cleveland on Saturday.
Marcus Smart, who was all over the court in the Celtics’ Game 2 win , didn’t take any of- fense to Cavs coach Tyronn Lue’s comment that the Celtics have “shown they haven’t played that well on the road.”
“We haven’t played well. We know that and understand that,” Smart said. “We understand that other teams see that and try to exploit it. But that’s the beauty about this game. It just takes one game.
Coach Brad Stevens said he thought the entire team seemed a little “shell-shocked” at Milwaukee in the first round, when after taking a 2-0 series lead, was promptly blown out 116-92 in Game 3. It lost all three road games in that series.
“We took a punch in the mouth right when guys came out and they surprised us a little bit,” Smart said. “We can’t afford to be surprised this time around. ... We’re just trying to make it as hard as we can on those guys for them to win a game and for us to execute whatever plan Brad has for us.”
That will be easier said than done against a Cavaliers team that got 42 points and near triple-double by LeBron James in Tuesday’s loss.