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Tristan Thompson’s Playoff Blog: Round 2

What’s up, Cavs fans? Tristan Thompson here – checking in from Boston as we gear up for Round Two. 

Having played for the Celtics – and mostly against them – I can tell you that Games 1 and 2 are going to be rocking here in Boston. 

One thing about Bostonians – especially this time of year when the weather gets nice – they get out of the house and they’re ready to give it all, and chuckle and haggle you and talk all that (stuff). So, we’ve got to be ready for all that. It’s going to be a hostile environment, that’s for sure. 

After not seeing action in the first two games, it felt really good to get a solid run against Orlando. I think I did pretty well. I’m here to just do whatever my team needs me to do for us to win games. 

Obviously, Mo Wagner was making an imprint on the series, so Coach put me in there. And I just go out there and neutralize my man or whatever is the task at hand. Whatever it is, I’m going lock in on that and do whatever I need to.

Mo and I did a lot of chirping over those seven games. But that’s just part of Playoff basketball. He was here with me in Boston for half a year, so he’s always been my young fella – and he knows I’m not going to stop. He knows I’m going to keep going – and he keeps going – and I can lip box with you all day. So, it was good. And at the end of the day, he had a great year this year for Orlando. I think for him to show the league that he can be a solid backup 5, averaging 12 and six for Orlando off the bench was definitely huge for their success. 

But when my number called, I got to lock all that (stuff) up – and that’s what I did. It’s something that’s got to be done in the Playoffs: taking guys out of their rhythm. 

It was also good to get out of that First Round – especially after last year – just to get that monkey off our back. 

I think for everyone in the organization that that’s been here post-LeBron, I think they wanted so badly to get past that First Round, just because when LeBron was here, we always got to the Finals, right? And this is the first time getting past the First Round since LeBron left. So, I think that was a good feeling for everyone to just feel like they’re trending in the right direction as a franchise and an organization. 

Donovan was incredible throughout the series and again in Game 7. You’ve got to have that mentality – to win by any means necessary. It’s Game 7 and you leave it all on the line, because there is no tomorrow if you don’t. It was just a hell of a performance. 

And now going against Boston, they’re the No. 1 seed in the East. It’s a team with a lot of high expectations. I think, for them, it’s Championship or bust year, for sure. For us, it’s about coming in here and just being physical, I think Orlando is a good series for us to understand the physicality that takes to be in the Playoffs. I think that could help us in this series. 

People don’t expect much from us, but I think that’s the beauty of the Playoffs. You just don’t know. It’s whatever team has it going, making things happen and playing hard. That’s what separates teams at this point.  

To compete in this series, we need the same physicality that we showed in the previous round. We’ve got to do that against these guys, too. At the end of the day, Porzingis is not the most physical guy when he does return. Same for Al Horford. He wants to bang, but doesn’t really like to get hit. So, I think this is a great series for J.A. and Evan to come in and do that work in the paint and show everyone what they’re capable of doing on a bigger stage. 

So that’s the key. Bring the toughness. Be physical. Force them to take tough twos, limit their three-pointers and make ours. If we do those things, we’ll be fine. 

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