Rozier: Celtics can ‘take their heart' with Game 2 win over Bucks


MILWAUKEE -- Like most NBA fans this time of year, Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier has done his share of scoreboard watching.

Orlando. Brooklyn. San Antonio.

All three won Game 1 of their best-of-seven playoff series on the road before ultimately losing the series, which is why the Celtics know they have to approach tonight’s Game 2 matchup cautiously optimistic following their 112-90 Game 1 blowout victory.

“I feel like it’s important to steal the first two games on the road,” Rozier told NBC Sports Boston. “I feel like you can kind of take their heart with that.”

At a minimum, it would put the top-seeded Bucks in the kind of series deficit that few teams have ever been able to fully climb their way out of and move on to the next round.

But it is definitely possible.

The last team to lose the first two games at home and still win the series?

That would be the Boston Celtics, who did it two years ago in their first-round matchup with the Chicago Bulls, a comeback on Boston’s part that was aided by then-Chicago Bull (and ex-Celtic) Rajon Rondo missing the last four games with a right thumb injury suffered in Game 2 of the series when he was trying to poke the ball free from Al Horford after an in-bounds pass.

Rozier was on that Celtics team and was among the unexpected contributors in Boston coming back to win that series.

He knows how tough it can be to climb out of a 2-0 series deficit, which is why he feels the Celtics are built to put the Bucks in such a dire predicament.

“We’re not teams like Brooklyn and Orlando that got their first (playoff road) win,” said Rozier who added, “no shots at them but … we’re even more hungry now.”

And that appetite can only be fully sated by delivering an end result similar to what happened in Game 1.

As well as Boston played to win Game 1, the Celtics will have to be even better if they are to go up 2-0 in this best-of-seven series, which will shift back to Boston for Games 3 and 4.

Part of that game-to-game improvement lies in how Boston balances making the necessary adjustments from Game 1 to be better, while not straying too far away from what worked.

“Just coming back for Game 2, kind of with a reset mindset,” Irving said. “And just go out there and be ready to be attacked. We know the sense of urgency for teams that lose Game 1, especially on their home floor.

Irving added, “It’s going to be louder here; it’s a later game (than Game 1) so everybody will be watching. I know everyone’s anticipating a big performance from Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Khris (Middleton) and we just have to be ready for that.”

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