The NBA Finals, a test all about physical and mental

The buzzer of Game 4 has just stopped or TD Garden. The joy of the Warriors contrasts with the disappointment of the Celtics and their fans but the players of both teams will still have similar words after the meeting. No matter the result, you have to share every match because the truth of a meeting is not that of the series.

“It’s just a match,” Marcus Smart shared the Celtics ’former l’entrainement. “We already think about the future because tomorrow we have the opportunity to catch up. »

Every match has its own truth

“Take the matches one after the other” is an old cliché in the middle of sports but is it the banality that we really want to believe? Abrès un match aussi intense at riche en emotions for Game 4 of the NBA Finals, comment if it is possible for a tourner on the page and block everything that says justqu’au next match?

“It’s hard to do but you have to do it” we said Otto Porter Jr. “As cliché as it can seem, you have to focus on the next match and only the next match. You can’t think of Game 6 or 7. You have to put all your concentration on the present moment. »

Besides what can go into the series if the Warriors win Game 5 and are close to winning a consecration that only Curry, Green, Thompson, Looney at Iguodala have already known, how can one not remember the incredible performance in Game 4? Pour Otto Porter Jr., the question of perspective.

“Winning Game 4 was important but it’s over, it’s in the past. Now, we just want to protect the field advantage in Game 5. We have a chance to take the advantage in the series. We do not have the right to error at home. »

Nemanja Bjelica told us otherwise he was “It’s complicated to start from zero every time because to win a match in Finals you demand energy and concentration at all times.” Mentally, you have to be costly because you know you are going to suffer. »

A way to manage highs and lows used for a long time

On the Celtics side, we had the right to the same bell. Boston had a few minutes to take a quasi -decisive advantage in this final and they were tied with 72 hours before Game 5. It would then be easier to enjoy the match in his head, to regret some mistakes, rather than watch the ‘avant.

Grant Williams explains to us that it’s just looking at things with a cold head.

“It can be difficult, it depends on the personality of each but if you take a step back, you quickly realize that you can’t change what happened in Game 4, and you can’t control the future without concentrate on the present moment. The next match is always the most important moment. So tomorrow [ce] in the evening, one must make sure to be 100% focused on what one has to do to win because there is nothing else that counts. »

If players on both teams are embarked on an emotional big eight during these NBA Finals, Gary Payton II describes having habits that help them move quickly to something else.

“In a routine to tour the page” he explains. “You watch the video of the previous match, you take what it takes, and from there you turn the page, and you focus on the next meeting with them in Game 5.”

To listen to the players, this transition from one match to another seems easy. It should all be remembered that they are conditioned to think this way. From the beginning of their careers, they have embraced this philosophy. This high-level learning is necessary to find a balance between having a short memory, not to dwell on counter-performances out of being too confident after a victory, and to keep in mind the mistakes of randomly adjusted matches.

“From university, you are exposed every day to the importance of each match and to take the match after match season because if you think of something else, you open the door to a lack of preparation,” we revealed Grant Williams. So the only thing that counts is the next match, the 12-15 guys against who you’re going to play tonight and put all your energy, mental and physical, on it. »

It’s something to do at university or in the regular season, it’s another pair of misses when it comes to doing it in a series finale. During the two -and -a -half weeks of the NBA Finals, players are trifled with obligation and obligation. If they have the habit of talking to the media every day, this attention is distracted throughout the final, especially for the bench players.

Each has its own method of managing external pressure

It is therefore necessary that the players be able to separate the game from the Finals show, as the screen is the ice that allows them to concentrate on what really counts.

“Pour the group, this final and the next match is all that counts” continue Grant Williams. “I think when we tell you that there is only one thing that counts, even if there are many more obligations than in other series, I have full confidence in my co -workers and I know that we will all shoot in the same direction. »

What about all the noise around the Finals on social media and in the media? After the Celtics’ victory in Game 1, everyone was close to winning the Larry O’Brien trophy in Boston. After the Warriors ’response in Game 2, it was the reverse excess. Same for Games 3 and 4.

In his podcast after Game 3, Andre Iguodala explained that listening to everything that is said, especially after a failure, is the perfect recipe to lose his confidence. Players must therefore find the balance that suits them as the latter is different for Draymond Green or Grant Williams.

“Everyone has their own way of managing it all” we say the strong coast of the Celtics. “Personally, I don’t watch much TV. If you choose what you like, what you choose, where you will find streaming sites, you look at the series and the façon is not me coming to me. I try to isolate myself from everything that goes on around the series and block all that buzz. I don’t read Twitter, I’m not on social networks, and I stay in touch with a restricted group of friends and family. »

While the rest of the world draws harsh and contradictory conclusions after each encounter of these Finals, the protagonists turn their backs on their favorite adage. They take matches one after another to keep their feet on the ground. A cliché, but a useful cliché.

Propos recueillis in San Francisco.

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