Sports

Celtics vow to return stronger after NBA Finals loss


Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics NBA Finals

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics reacts on the bench in opposition to the Golden State Warriors through the fourth quarter in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. . Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka challenged his younger staff to return stronger after their NBA Finals dream resulted in defeat in opposition to Golden State on Thursday.

Udoka and his Celtics gamers had been pressured to observe the Warriors have fun in their very own TD Garden area after a 103-90 defeat accomplished a 4-2 collection win.

The loss ended Boston’s hopes of a file 18th NBA Championship, and drew a line underneath a profitable Celtics season that got here up agonizingly brief.

Udoka advised his gamers he desires the sting of defeat to gas a contemporary tilt on the title subsequent season.

“That was part of the message. Let it propel us forward, the experience,” Udoka mentioned. “Growth and progress that we made this season.

“The biggest message was learn from this, grow from it, take this experience and see there is another level to get to. A team like Golden State who has been there, done that. It was evident in a lot of ways.”

Udoka mentioned Boston’s run to the finals this season was “just the start.”

“A foundation has been set,” he mentioned. “We can form of hit the bottom working subsequent 12 months. Let’s get wholesome and all be on the identical web page.

“We’ve seen what we can achieve. It hurts we fell short of that. But the future is bright and we’re just getting started, so let’s all come back better from this experience.”

Udoka mentioned the Celtics’ lack of composure at key moments had additionally proved pricey, and would add to the willpower to enhance subsequent season.

“Not playing our best, probably playing our worst overall series is motivation enough,” Udoka mentioned. “We have very highly motivated guys that didn’t play their best, honestly.”

Boston star Marcus Smart mentioned the Celtics had “come up short.”

“It’s tough. We’ve been through a lot this year as a team, as a group, individually, collectively,” Smart mentioned.

“Every obstacle that was thrown in front of us, we prevailed and triumphed through it. Came up short tonight.”

Smart mentioned that the Celtics would take Udoka’s problem to enhance to coronary heart.

“We’re learning. That’s part of it,” he mentioned. “You take that and go into next season and you try to build off of it, the things that we did wrong and the things that we done great.”

Jayson Tatum mentioned the Celtics would wish to “go up a level” to problem subsequent season.

“It’s hard getting to this point. It’s even harder getting over it, the hump, and win it,” Tatum mentioned.

“It’s been a long journey, a long process. That’s what I took from it: it’s tough. You got to take it up another level to do what we want to do.”

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