The Celtics and Bucks play Game 2 of their best-of-seven series tonight. Boston won the opener, 113-107 in overtime, and people ask what teams do to prepare for the next game after the first has been played.
It's easy to anticpate how Milwaukee responded to the loss. But I'm not sure the Celtics reacted in the same manner of most winning teams.
When a team loses and wakes up the next day, the intensity is much greater. The attention to detail is there. The coaches look at plays, look at opportunities from the first game, and show them to the players not only for them to learn, but for them to build confidence in themselves.
As for actual adjustments, they're definitely overblown. People think they're massive things that you do differently, but they could just be ways to attack a double team, or attack coverage on a pick-and-roll. Sometimes it's the smallest type of adjustment. For instance: Don't make a crosscourt pass. Or if you're Giannis Antetokounmpo and you go into the paint, know that when you spin they're going to be there so look for this particular play.
Typically, athletes -- and I guess this would be across the board, but I really only know basketball players this way -- are very accustomed to having their back against the wall. They usually respond so much better, with so much more intensity, than when you win and complacency sort of seeps in.
Because a lot of teams, when they win, get a little complacent. And this is why you see the ups-and-downs of the NBA playoffs. When you win, you're feeling great. Film isn't as intense the next day; you celebrate the certain plays that you made, that were successful; maybe pick apart a couple of plays that didn't work out. It's a much looser enviornment.
But I don't think this will hold true with the Celtics.
Brad Stevens, in his postgame presser after Game 1 on Sunday, wasn't happy. He wasn't happy about the Malcolm Brogdon shot, a 3-pointer that tied the game at 96-96 with 10.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and he definitely wasn't happy about the Khris Middleton shot, a long 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded that sent the game into overtime. Because he understands those two plays are massive plays. I'm sure he was saying, "How did that happen? For us to get to where we want to go, plays like that cannot happen."
So his intensity postgame -- to me -- didn't feel like that of a coach that just won. He seemed like a coach that wanted to get back on the floor and get back to correcting some of the wrongs.