Celtics-Mavs Game 4 takeaways: Payton Pritchard missing, Brown and Tatum foul-hunting

The Dallas Mavericks were hungrier tonight and the Boston Celtics were too scared of the moment.
Game 4 didn't go as the Boston Celtics planned
Game 4 didn't go as the Boston Celtics planned / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

No. 1: Returning to old habits

The classic your turn, my turn isolation basketball will not win an NBA championship. The Mavericks deserve all the credit as the defense was up another notch tonight forcing 13 Celtic turnovers and countless thrown-away possessions.

The Cs were taking way too long to get into their offense leading to the last shot being rushed. This means hoisting up threes that hit the back side of the rim, Jrue Holiday missing a point-blank floater, or Payton Pritchard missing a point-blank mid-range jumper.

The body language from the jump was not championship-level from the Boston Celtics. It starts with their leaders, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, making a conscious effort to finish through contact instead of foul-hunting or whining to the officials. It begins with better discipline from your vets defensively. Late closeouts and misread assignments spell disaster in these big game moments. Al Horford who should have the most to play for attempted one field goal and looked completely disengaged tonight. Derrick White had his worst game of the playoffs with six points on 2/8 shooting. Jrue Holiday after not committing one turnover in the prior three games, had five on the night.

No. 2: Payton Pritchard still missing, anybody help!

Outside of his 11 points tonight which were all in garbage time, Payton Pritchard has not shown up in the meaningful minutes of the first four games of the finals. One of his only bright spots was a half-court heave in game two that hit the bottom of the net. This is not enough as a rotational guard in the NBA Finals.

It does seem like a minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but if PP's shot is not falling then he is a liability out there. An argument could be made for a guy like Jaden Springer or Svi Mykhailiuk to absorb those minutes because at least they will bring it defensively if the shot is not falling.

We should just disregard Pritchard's 11 points tonight because the reality is when the game matters, he averages a career three points per game in the Finals.

No. 3: The Dallas Mavericks wanted it more

We try to come up with a billion excuses for why the Boston Celtics lost tonight, but it comes down to seizing the moment and whatever team has more of a desire to win. The simplest way I can put it, the Dallas Mavericks wanted it more than the Beantown boys.

Simple enough for people with less than a third-grade education to understand. What are the tell-tale stats to come to this synopsis?

The Celtics were out-hustled on the boards 65-39, that's a margin of 26 on the glass. The Cs were held to an abysmal 31% shooting for the game and only put up 84 points. The game felt over by the end of the first quarter because of the poor shot selection, late rotations defensively, and lack of effort on the glass. Silly mistakes like fouling a three-point shooter which happened on multiple occasions and stepping out of bounds which also happened a few times.

It will be tough to rebound from this loss - a 38-point smackdown, but the hope is that none of it will matter come Monday night.

A 3-0 comeback has never happened in 156 attempts of trying. I do not play the lottery, but I will take those odds.