Jonas Jerebko sparked the Celtics turnaround in game 3
When Jonas Jerebko took the floor last night with 6:39 to go in the 3rd quarter the Celtics trailed the Cleveland Cavaliers by 21 points, 77-56. Jerebko played 13 of the final 17 minutes in the game and brought an edge we haven't seen from the C's this entire series. He played physical and had words with just about every Cavs player he came across on the floor. His tenacity was infectious and his teammates responded by ratcheting up the effort on the defensive end and ultimately led to a Celtics victory:
Jonas really did turn the entire game when he started fighting everyone and tackling players and yelling at them. Team Jonas for life
With Jerebko and the Celtics turning up the physicality the Cavs opted to stay outside and shoot jumpers. Their hot shooting from the 1st half didn't quite carry over down the stretch, and the Celtics heated up for the first time all series:
While Jerebko's role as the C's enforcer was perhaps his most important, and surprising, asset last night he was no slouch shooting the ball either. He shot 4 for 4 (2 of 2 from three) and although Avery Bradley gets a ton of spotlight for that roller-coaster game winning shot it was Jerebko who hit the previous shot to put the Celtics ahead with 30.3 left in the game - giving them a 2 for 1 opportunnity to close out the game and a guarantee they could have the final shot.
I'm hopeful coach Brad Stevens considers putting Jerebko in the starting lineup going forward. As much as I appreciate what Amir Johnson has done this season and I understand stats aren't everything, that tank looks empty. Jonas helps spread the floor, he's so much quicker moving side to side, and he's 1000 times better than Amir at closing out on the three-points shooters that have dominated most of this series for Cleveland.
For good measure let's take another look at Jonas "tossing"Kevin Love to the floor and then telling him about it: