After back-to-back lackluster showings in their first-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics finally looked like the team that finished with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference on Friday night. So what was the catalyst behind their return to form? Following their 104-87 victory, Celtics players credited a video message from Kevin Garnett that ESPN's Chris Forsberg described as "high energy and rife with expletives" for providing some much needed motivation prior to Game 3.
"Everybody was kinda pumped up. I almost felt like he was in the locker room with me again," Bradley said of the video. "It kind of energized us a little bit before the game, and it reminded us of what we're playing for and what the Celtics stand for...It's funny, because he was our leader when he was here. He's still part of this Celtics family. For him to go out of his way to send us a message like that, that means a lot to all of us."
On Wednesday, Isaiah Thomas left the team to spend some time with his family following the death of sister Chyna last Saturday. When Thomas returned late Thursday night, the team noticed that he had a more energized demeanor. After viewing Garnett's video, IT played it for his teammates with the audio coming through the speakers, and the Celtics played as though they heard KG's message loud and clear.
"To me, personally, it was everything," Jae Crowder told ESPN. "It was just a little motivational speech. He said we looked like a team that wasn't having fun. We looked like a team that wasn't soaking the moment. We've just got to play for one another and play for the moment at hand, which is the playoffs, and have fun with it. Basically that's all he was saying, with a little more KG into it."
The Celtics will look to even up their series with the Bulls on Sunday. Anyone else wish they could hear exactly what KG had to say to the Celts?