You can’t say Boston didn’t have a well-thought plan. They played hard, but in the end the younger team prevailed. If only Boston had a little more stamina and stability, they might have had fewer injuries and successfully executed more types of shots. Five millimeters more control could have made a difference with one of those free shots or a critical passing maneuver.
There’s a level of passive influence that the ground imposes that could have been managed better – especially for these older players. A little more equipment management would have reduced demand on deficiencies and maximized overall resilience.
The Boston Celtics had all the heart, the skill and the training. But the ground is not moved by any of that.