Boston (8-6): 111-Chicago (4-11): 82
Jayson Tatum: 14 PTS 6 REB 1 STL
Kyrie Irving: 17 PTS 6 REB 7 AST 2 STL
Jaylen Brown: 18 PTS 6 REB 3 AST 1 STL
Shaq Harrison: 16 PTS 6 REB 1 AST 4 STL
Jabari Parker: 14 PTS 5 REB 2 AST 1 BLK
Wendell Carter Jr.: 11 PTS 7 REB 1 BLK
Back in the friendly walls of the TD Garden the Celtics came out last night and took care of business. They trounced the Bulls and albeit they aren’t the best team out there holding any NBA team to 82 points is an accomplishment. In a league where so many threes are jacked up a defensive effort like that is always impressive. Even though they did get out to a slow start (down 12-4) with 8:35 left Brad called a timeout and they quickly closed the gap with a Kyrie pullup three, a strong drive left by Jaylen, and probably the play of the game as off of a loose ball Kyrie punched it up court to Jaylen for an easy dunk.
From the beginning you could tell Ryan Arcidiacono had nothing for Kyrie as he made him do The Monster Mash on multiple occassions with some exquisite ball-handling. Irving and Brown in the frame (combined 7-11 15 pts) got off to a hot start. The Celtics still sort of struggled scoring early and they were having difficulty with the Bulls mid-range game, specifically, that of Jabari Parker (14 points in the first). They closed the quarter trailing 24-19 and had some work to do in the second.
This is where the Celtics began to pull away and it was nice of them to take a big lead for a change lately. From 28-28 the Celtics established their dominance over the Bulls jumping out to a 23-6 run to close the quarter. During said run in an 8-minute span they held the Bulls to 3-13 from the floor 0-4 from three and forced 5 turnovers. This is the type of defensive effort they hang their hats on. In regards to the offensive end, 8 different Celtics scored in the quarter and they did this going inside-out and getting open shots from the perimeter/mid-range area and this assisted in stretching their lead to 51-35 at halftime.
Horford got going in the third from downtown with a couple of threes at the top of the key to aide the Celtics in gaining a 25-point lead (62-37) and from there they didn’t give it up. The rest of the game was basically a formality and it was just a matter of running the clock out. This gave the Celtics the opportunity to give Hayward some stress free run in the fourth with the bench. He couldn’t buy a bucket in the first 30 minutes of the game as he started out 0-7. The rest of the game he went 4-5 from the floor, 1-1 from three, and even contributed with 3 steals and 3 assists. He looked better against the bench competition and hopefully this can get him on track. The Celtics cruised in the fourth en route to a 111-82 final (and a Gino appearance!) in their return to the Garden.
- The Bulls average a total of 104.3 points per game as a team. Giving up only 82 points and holding leading scorer Zach LaVine (25.9 ppg) to 10 points on 3-11 shooting is a bright spot. For a road trip where they consistently underperformed on that end the defense looked lot better tonight. Not only did they make it difficult on the Bull’s scorers but they also got 12 steals and blocked 5 shots. The calling card of this team will always be defense no matter how talented they are on offense and tonight it was great.
- Juice!!! Jaylen Brown keeps being aggressive and it seems like he’s figuring out his role as a slasher in the offense after looking timid and confused at the beginning of the season.
- A 27-16 Celtic advantage in assists tells the story on offense. The ball movement looked great and tonight guys weren’t afraid to shoot the ball. Sometimes this season it seems like the Celtics are passing too much and giving up great looks. Tonight they found a balance and really operated smoothly on offense
- With Toronto/Utah coming to town Friday/Saturday the Celtics needed a win like this. They’ve struggled a bunch lately and burying the Bulls like they did should help morale and have them locked in for the weekend.
- I usually don’t do these for opposing teams but I had to talk about Wendell Carter Jr. He looks so polished as a 19-year-old and I see him being a cornerstone for the Bulls for years to come. Averaging 11.5 pts 7.8 rebs along with 2 blocks is exactly what the Bulls had hoped for early on. I personally think he’s a better prospect than former Duke teammate Marvin Bagley III. Carter Jr.’s ability to protect the rim at a high level already gives him the edge as I believe in due time they’ll end up being comparable offensive players.
- Congratulations to Marcus Smart for passing Eddie House for 10th in Celtic history in threes made. The career 29.3% shooter hit the mark in the third quarter. The irony of all of this is in the next few years we should see Smart shoot up that list. I just want to be in the building when he inevitably goes 1-10 and ends up passing Bird on that list (this isn’t a joke he’s literally going to unless things go terribly wrong)
- Lastly, Theis bleached his hair and now looks more like Slim Shady than Eminem does. This might be the most notable piece of news I have for you today.
Player of the Game: Jaylen Brown
18 points on 8-14 shooting and 2-4 from 3 for Juice is a perfect offensive contribution from him. His ability to get to the rim and finish through defenders is an important aspect of a team that is rather outside centric on offense. To open up those threes they need to effectively drive the lane and force help in order to eventually exploit the defense and find the open man. When the Celtics are at their best is they’re getting a lot of assists and the ball moves effortlessly. His jumpshot falling also adds another dimension to his game where he can find more openings as defenders close out on him.
The Celtics look to get some revenge on the Raptors (12-3) in Boston at 7:00 PM ET Friday 11/6 on ESPN
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