​Scrappiness and heart can only get you so far.


Despite the fact that many of us were so discouraged by the Boston Celtics' 2018-19 regular season (spoiler alert for Bill Simmons: they did not win 65 games), the sheer amount of overwhelming talent they have on the roster was bound to take over against a ​Victor Oladipo-less Pacers team.


But their ​coaching advantage has taken center stage, too.


Three times, Boston's been tested by tough first halves. All three times, they've clamped down on Indiana tremendously; the Pacers have put up some of the worst third-quarter shooting numbers you'll ever see.

​​It's been as brutal as the numbers would reflect.

​​In the game of "should'ves," Indy comes out on top. But not on the scoreboard. Boston's intensity coming out for the second half has been unmatched, three consecutive times. It's officially a trend.


Nowhere is the perfection better personified in Game 3 than through Jaylen Brown. Brown ended 8-of-9 for 23 points, inserted into the starting lineup, and only one late trey short of actual error-free basketball.


Our money's on the Celtics being kind on the road in Game 4, knowing they've skated by and have a larger challenge ahead of them in the talent-stacked No. 1 seed Bucks. Indy's got to capture one of these tight ones...right?


Not if Brad Stevens has his say.