Celtics Postgame Live

Scalabrine details where Celtics need to improve entering Game 5

Does Boston need to make drastic changes after a 38-point Game 4 loss?

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After winning the first three games of the 2024 NBA Finals -- and winning ten straight postseason games -- the Boston Celtics finally let one get away, falling 122-84 to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 on Friday night. After Boston's lowest scoring output of the season, 2008 Celtics champion and NBC Sports Boston analyst Brian Scalabrine pinpointed what went wrong in Game 4 and how the team can improve entering Game 5.

"It's just doing what we've done before; you play with force -- we did not play with force," Scalabrine told Tom Giles and fellow '08 champion Eddie House on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Postgame Live. "Defensively, offensively, no force."

On the defensive side, the Celtics let the Mavericks score over 100 points for the first time in the series. Led by a 29-point outing from Luka Doncic and 21 points from Kyrie Irving, the Mavs shot 50.5 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from deep -- both series highs.

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Offensively, the Celtics had a historically bad night. Their 36.3 percent field goal rate was an all-time low in Finals history and their second-worst in a game this season. (They shot 36 percent in a 115-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers back in January.) Jayson Tatum was Boston's leading scorer with 15 points, while the rest of the starting lineup combined for just 29.

The Celtics also were outrebounded 52-31 and 13-4 on the offensive boards. Still, Scalabrine doesn't think the Celtics need to make drastic changes to their game plan for Monday.

"You don't change things around and start mixing things up," Scalabrine said of what the Celtics need to do in Game 5. "You first play hard -- you play physical, you pound the glass. Then we'll find out if Luka Doncic getting downhill in single coverage affecting us or not."

Scalabrine added that the Celtics appeared to play like a team that was up 3-0 in the series, to which House agreed.

"I feel like we played like a cool team, like we were up 3-0," House told Scalabrine. "Like, 'Oh, we got it, we'll go close it out back at home.'"

The Celtics will have the weekend to break down what changed between the first three games and Game 4, with Game 5 scheduled for Monday night at 8:30 p.m. ET back home at TD Garden. With Banner 18 on the line, join NBC Sports Boston's coverage beginning at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live.

Watch Scalabrine, House, and Giles' full postgame reaction in the video below:

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