So, why aren’t we? Much like our Detroit Red Wings trailing two games, it’s pretty much now or never. And I know exactly how to fix it.
Stan Van Gundy is failing (like he often did during the regular season) to reign in the passion and energy of the young Bad Boys 3.0, letting it spill all over the court in frustrating fashion down the stretch.
We made so many shots in game one in Cleveland there’s no way we should have lost. There are always indications one of our young thugs is about to boil over, and usually, his teammates will calm him down. But unless it’s checked, it has a tendency to spread throughout the lineup, infecting our mental toughness.
I’d have made sure to calm everyone down better after Reggie Jackson’s technical. In a close game, the point seemed to push us closer towards the five-point deficit that eclipsed our comeback. And tonight, Marcus Morris was obviously fuming in the 3rd quarter. I demanded a timeout – to no avail down 63, 62, but Van Gundy pushed the margin to double-digits before he took timeout.
A lack of proactivity in the playoffs is inexcusable, as original Bad Boy Isaiah Thomas taught us all following Sunday’s defeat. No one in our starting lineup has beyond five years in the league, so their untamed emotions make sense. Van Gundy has got to knock the rust off and remember that in (potentially) just TWO MORE GAMES, we could be saying goodbye.
And our players deserve better. Detroit has waited too long to go home empty-handed. Welcome home, Gs, and welcome back to the playoffs, Palace!