1. As Brad Stevens put it, the sport “received attention-grabbing” on the finish. However the Celtics accomplished a dream 3-0 west coast journey and are available dwelling to Boston on a five-game successful streak. They’ve now moved as much as 5th place within the Japanese Convention (tied with Atlanta for 4th, however the Hawks personal the tiebreaker). The Celtics have seven of their subsequent 9 video games at dwelling.
We’ve been right here earlier than this season, with feeling like they’ve turned the nook, however this time it feels a bit of extra actual. This run has included some high quality wins and the crew appears to have figured some issues out. Let’s see if that holds down the stretch.
2. Jaylen Brown was dominant on this recreation, however did so whereas staying utterly within the movement of the offense. Brown received began early with this clear jumper off a Tristan Thompson kick-out:
Later within the first quarter, Brown’s composure confirmed up. He does a fantastic job of driving the closeout, whereas staying beneath management. The top result’s an and-1:
General, Brown scored 40 factors on 17-of-20 taking pictures. It was a remarkably environment friendly evening, as Brown received to his spots at any time when he needed.
3. Boston’s ball motion was terrific all through the primary three quarters of this recreation. The rotation regulars piled up 25 assists on 37 baskets throughout that portion of the sport. All 5 Celtics starters had between three and 7 assists. The subsequent a number of clips are examples of fine passing by a couple of completely different Celtics.
4. If there’s something Boston has excelled at within the final 12 months, it’s attacking Marc Gasol in pick-and-roll. The Celtics simply have his quantity. Marcus Good does job of getting deep sufficient into the paint right here that Gasol has to remain up. Tristan Thompson slips in behind for the alley-oop:
Good has performed inside himself throughout the win streak. He’s been understated, however extraordinarily strong on the offensive finish, whereas being a menace on protection. On this play, Good is asking for the ball early. He doesn’t accept a contested three although. Good makes the additional cross for Jayson Tatum to get an open triple:
5. Kemba Walker has had at the very least six assists in eight straight video games. He’s settled into his function as playmaker/third-scorer now. That matches fairly effectively round Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum’s ascensions to being the first scorers.
This play begins with Tatum making learn of the double crew. It ends with Walker making a fast reversal to Brown for the higher look:
Walker has been actually good about pushing tempo for the Celtics recently. He does job off a made free throw right here, of getting the ball proper up the ground earlier than the Lakers can set their protection. The result’s Brown cuts backdoor for the dunk:
6. Jayson Tatum is a deadly scorer. There isn’t a lot he can’t do in that section of the sport. Now, his passing is steadily coming alongside to enhance that. This behind-the-back cross in visitors is a good instance of how Tatum is best than ever as a playmaker:
This one exhibits how unselfish Tatum may be. He may have taken the transition three, however Brown has it going and has the simpler shot:
7. Because the saying goes: the ball finds vitality. Jayson Tatum was unselfish on the clip above. That comes again round right here, as Tristan Thompson made a very nice cross to Tatum on the minimize:
Sticking with Thompson for a bit…he’s been actually good for Boston since his return from COVID. Thompson’s protection has been terrific, his rebounding is great and he’s been extra comfy on offense. After some suits and begins to the season, Thompson has lastly settled in to a key function for the Celtics.
8. We’re going to reward a number of the bench gamers now. Word: a few of them. The subsequent takeaway goes to be so much harsher for the opposite reserves.
Payton Pritchard stated postgame that he does assume he hit the rookie wall. On this recreation, he appeared to search out his shot once more. Extra importantly, he’s stayed on the assault even when the shot was lacking. Pritchard does job of getting downhill for the end over Montrezl Harrell right here:
The commerce of Daniel Theis opened up a rotation spot for Grant Williams. Over the past week or so, Williams has seized that chance. He’s achieved a pleasant job as a 3rd huge behind, and alongside at occasions, Robert Williams and Tristan Thompson. Williams’ offensive recreation is beginning to blossom a bit. This hesitation dribble/pretend DHO for a layup is sweet stuff:
Luke Kornet additionally did a pleasant job when pressed into emergency obligation with Robert Williams out with a sore knee. In case you squint, Kornet might be that form of elusive stretch 5 that gives some rim safety. He completed with 4 blocks in 18 minutes of play. These are markers solely Robert Williams has hit for the Celtics, by way of blocks in lower than 20 minutes.
9. The above three gamers (Payton Pritchard, Grant Williams and Luke Kornet), together with Romeo Langford did a pleasant job off Boston’s bench. The deeper reserves? Hope somebody opened a window as a result of they stunk.
Brad Stevens tried to empty the bench absolutely with round 5 minutes to play and the Celtics main 113-89. Over the following three-and-half minutes, the Lakers went on a 19-2 run. That compelled Stevens to place a number of rotation regulars again into the sport to make sure Boston would come away with a win.
Within the grand scheme of issues, the gamers who had been in on the finish of the sport are someplace between 12 and 17 within the Celtics rotation pecking order. They aren’t essentially anticipated to be excellent. However additionally they shouldn’t be a whole catastrophe both.
For years, NBA coaches have tried to get the media and followers to cease utilizing the time period “rubbish time”. They like to consider it as improvement and alternative time. And there’s some equity there. All of those minutes go on tape. The gamers Boston had in late are guys who haven’t established themselves within the NBA but. A few of them are preventing to remain within the league. Shedding some factors off the lead is okay. Enjoying extraordinarily poorly on each ends isn’t. What was particularly troubling had been a number of the low basketball IQ performs like operating the ball up the ground and taking fast pictures because the lead was evaporating.
This was a badly missed alternative for these youthful Celtics. And now, when Boston is up huge subsequent, Stevens could hesitate to return to them fairly as early. That’s a loss for these guys who want some ground time, and for the rotation gamers who want all the remaining they will get.
10. Because the lead dwindled, Brad Stevens referred to as on the regulars to avoid wasting the day. Jaylen Brown answered that decision. In most of the clips above, Brown completed performs off passes from his teammates. Throughout this stretch, he put the cape on and did it himself. This play ought to have been an and-1:
Then the subsequent time down, Brown put the sport away:
It received a bit of bushy on the finish, however Boston pulled it out behind Brown’s huge play. And even when they had been diminished on account of accidents, it all the time feels good to beat the Lakers.