Celtics’ Bradley: ‘We have to stay together’

1:30 AM ET

BOSTON — As a Celtics unraveled in a fourth entertain of Tuesday’s Game 2 detriment to a Chicago Bulls, Avery Bradley could hear former teammate Rajon Rondo suggesting that Boston had packaged it in.

And Bradley couldn’t unequivocally remonstrate with him.

“I looked around and, a few times in a game, guys were putting their heads down, we consider removing down on themselves,” Bradley said. “But as a team, we have to stay together. The other group is looking during that. They’re regulating that as proclivity for themselves.

“I could even hear Rondo, like, ‘Yeah, they gave up. They gave up.’ But we never can let a group see that. You have to continue to be certain and go out there and play hard, no matter what a outcome is.”

Two years ago when a Celtics were swept out of a initial turn of a playoffs by a Cleveland Cavaliers, fans inside TD Garden serenaded a lively garland of overachievers with an organic “Let’s Go, Celtics!” chant.

This season, a top-seeded Celtics, carrying incited in an impossibly unexcited bid while interesting a 111-97 detriment on Tuesday, were booed as they walked off a justice during TD Garden. Yes, expectations have understandably increasing for a Boston group that won 53 games this season. But it’s a approach that Boston has been dominated in this array that has drawn a madness of a fan base.

After giving adult 20 descent rebounds in Game 1, a Celtics spent a 48 hours heading adult to Game 2 articulate about a need to be improved on a glass. On Tuesday night, they gave adult 10 descent rebounds in a initial half and fell behind early by double figures.

They were improved on a potion in a second half, though usually since a Bulls frequency missed a shot. Rondo dusted off a selected “Playoff Rondo” opening (11 points, 14 assists, 9 rebounds) and standard purpose players Nikola Mirotic, Robin Lopez and Paul Zipser any took turns looking like superstars opposite an indifferent Boston defense.

The Celtics spent most of a frustration-filled second half contention with a officials and any other. Much of that appetite would have been improved spent on a defensive end; instead, they authorised a Bulls to fire 56.8 in a second half. And Boston could never make a postulated charge.

Boston now finds itself in singular association as usually a second top-seeded group underneath a NBA’s stream playoff format to dump a initial dual games opposite an 8-seed.

Here’s some positivity that Bradley can gaunt on: The usually other such instance was a 1993 Phoenix Suns, who rallied from dual games down to kick a Los Angeles Lakers in a best-of-5 array and went on to strech a NBA Finals.

For now, a Celtics would settle for anticipating a approach to simply win a game.

“It’s not an ideal conditions for us,” pronounced Boston brazen Jae Crowder. “You don’t put yourself down 0-2 during home. But it’s not a finish of a universe for us. We have a section to go to Chicago and take Game 3. It’s not ideal, though we feel like we can rebound back.”

Al Horford echoed a sentiment

“Jae pronounced it best,” Horford said. “That’s all we have. Game 3 is a must-win for us.”

One week ago, a Celtics were creation a energetic late-season swell to constraint a tip mark in a Eastern Conference, aided by a Cavaliers’ preference to prioritize rest over seeding. Boston entered a postseason with movement and motivation, with some wondering if they were one of a misfortune No. 1 seeds in new memory.

The group is apparently traffic with an romantic conditions as All-Star indicate ensure Isaiah Thomas tries to play following a genocide of his younger sister in a automobile collision on Saturday. Before Tuesday’s Game 2, Celtics manager Brad Stevens certified it has been still around a Celtics lately, in partial since of Thomas’ ordeal.

But a reasons for Boston’s unexcited play run deeper than Thomas’ emotions and this team’s query to console him.

Stevens, who is now a small 2-10 in postseason play, contingency find a approach to get his group re-focused.

“We have to get prepared to play good on Friday,” Stevens said. “That’s what a concentration has to be. We don’t have any other choice. And that’s what we pronounced in a locker room, and that’s it.

“We’ll disintegrate a film, we’ll go by it, we’ll figure out what we didn’t do good — and there’ll be utterly a lot — and go from there. But a Zipser, Mirotic, [Bobby] Portis, those guys have had outrageous impacts on a initial dual games of this series. we mean, we design it from [Dwyane] Wade, right? we mean, we consider we all do. Last year, we consider he strike reduction than 10 [3-pointers] during a unchanging deteriorate and afterwards some-more than that in a initial turn of a playoffs. Like, this is who he is. And it’s who Rondo’s been via his career. we mean, a turn that he’s personification during is terrific. And afterwards Butler’s Butler. But those other guys are unequivocally impacting a array in a large way.”

Thomas scored a game-high 33 points on Sunday, though he struggled Tuesday while putting adult 20 points on 6 of 15 shooting. Stevens attempted throwing a small bit of all during a Bulls — rolling out Terry Rozier and Tyler Zeller — though zero worked for really long. Boston seemed frustrated, quite as Chicago consistently put points on a scoreboard.

Bradley refused to use Thomas’ conditions as an forgive for a past dual games and pronounced a Celtics need to quarrel by this adversity.

“You can’t make any excuses,” pronounced Bradley. “Obviously, it’s complicated on everyone’s heart what happened to Isaiah and his family, and we were there for Isaiah. But we can’t continue to contend that’s a reason. We usually wish to be there for him, continue to be there, and play hard.

“At a finish of a day, we should wish to play tough for any other and for him. Like, we can’t lay there and keep saying, ‘Oh, we’re down since too most is going on.’ We have to play tough no matter what. You go by a lot via a season. You’re going to face a lot of adversity. And a best teams overcome any form of adversity. And that’s what form of group we need to be.”

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