FINAL: Boston: 107 Washington: 96
An eternity. Thats’s how long it’s felt like it’s been since the Celtics came away with a win. Tonight however, they showed up at home, played Celtic basketball, and ultimately got back on track. I’d go through every player but the entire stat sheet tells the story perfectly.
7 players in double figures is a good place to start when lauding the Celtic’s efforts tonight. They had a balanced attack and almost every single guy that stepped on the court was a threat on offense. Kyrie facilitated to a T and I’d like to show this game film to anyone who believes the Celtics are better without him. He got everyone involved and was the catalyst for so many of the opportunities they got on offense.
Some of these passes he was able to make were right on the money and he made it look easy. The play where he drives baseline only to dump it off to Theis is one of the prettier plays you’ll see on a basketball court (0:30 in the video). He was so effective in PnR/PnP situations as he found guys like Horford and Theis off of screens over and over again.
The Celtic defense was on display for the second straight game holding the Wizards to 96 points. They had a great effort on defense against the Blazers and it was nice to see it carry over into another solid performance on that end. Washington turned it over 18 times as the Celtics also forced some turnovers down the stretch to fend off a Wizard run.
As for everyone else, they all were fantastic. Al Horford led the way with 18/6/3 which included some timely buckets. Jaylen Brown wasn’t effective in the first three quarters but turned it on in the 4th en route to an 11 point quarter which led the Celtics to the victory. Marcus Morris also backed up his talk about bringing some SOUL back to the team. I don’t know about you but I think soul sounds like something this team needs a heavy dose of. If Mook can provide it, I’m all for it and it’ll maybe inject some life into this team for the rest of the season.
Listen, I’m not barking at the world saying that we can put a ton of stock into a win against the John Wall-less Wizards but it was promising. They have looked like crap since they got back from the All-Star break and it’s nice to see they can actually play basketball still. It was shaky there for a few as they looked like they deserved to be in the G-League at times during this rough stretch of losses. Maybe Kyrie was right. Maybe they can just turn it on when they want to and maybe they’re starting to realize the 5th seed isn’t the easiest path to The Finals. Hopefully this is where they decide to turn it on in the last 20 or so games.
This one sets them at 2.5 games back of Philly for the 4 seed and 3 games back of Indiana for the 3 seed. They’re in reach but if the Celtics are going to get one of those slots is if they go on a run to end the season. They have a tough matchup with the Rockets on Sunday and then go on a west coast trip. It won’t be easy but if we believe they can actually turn it on when they want to, they’ll be ok and hopefully this is the beginning of a streak for the green.