I truly think the Celtics forgot how to lose…
I’m not joking, they actually forgot. No matter the situation they always find a way to figure it all out. It happened again yesterday afternoon against the Raptors.
It was another edition of “A tale of two halves” for the C’s. The shooting struggles continued in the first-half and it was the kind of shooting that makes you want to throw your head through a wall. In a game where Kyrie Irving was out while he gets fitted for his mask (en route to taking over the flat world) it certainly sucked to see the Celtics shooting like shit.
16-48 from the floor (33%). Holy shit balls.
4-13 from three (Not that bad).
That’s not to say that there weren’t some highlights… SUGAR SHANE LARKIN INBOUND
I will ALWAYS look for reasons to talk about Shane Larkin.
THE U IS BACK BABY HAVEN’T YOU HEARD?!
I digress, though. The Celtics didn’t play their best ball in the first-half but they did enough to hang in there with a Toronto team that is currently 7th in the league in scoring at 110 points per game.
The biggest play of the first-half? The final one.
TERRY ROZIER SAY HEY!
This was huge. Celtics were going to be down 9 going into the half but instead go in down 4 because of Rozier’s four-point play.
Return of the Al
Al Horford returning to the lineup helped soften the blow of Kyrie Irving being out. Funny thing about Al undergoing concussion protocol… He was never officially diagnosed with a concussion which I thought was interesting.
Al may have missed some time, but he didn’t miss a beat returning to the floor. Al Horford has been the best player on this team so far this season. He continued to be the best player on the team yesterday. Peep the numbers…
1-1 from deep
4-5 from the free throw line
COME ON! – Al is just the kind of player that will always positively impact a game. At no point yesterday was anyone thinking “Al Horford is taking over this game right now.” because that’s not the player he is. He’s the extremely consistent contributor who is too busy doing all the little things and playing efficiently to worry about if he goes for 30 and 10.
Al also went on to have another positive +/- player ranking with a +4 yesterday… He is still the only player to have a positive +/- in every game he’s played in this season.
Kid ‘N Jay
Everybody’s favorite youth movement struck again last night and it was almost too much fun.
The show went on and on with these two. Jaylen hitting threes. Jayson slashing through the lane for scoop layups. The rest of the NBA is so beyond screwed when Jaylen completes his transformation into Kawhi Leonard and Jayson Tatum becomes the completed version of KG and Paul Pierce’s love-child.
STAT LINES FOR THE YOUNGINS’
Jaylen: 18 points 3 rebounds 3 assists
Jayson: 13 points 7 rebounds
Long live the youth movement.
BEST DEFENSE IN BASKETBALL
The Celtics won this game with timely offense and shutdown defense when it mattered the most.
The Raptors came into the game averaging 110 points per game… Good for 7th in the NBA. Even more impressive? They rank 4th in offensive efficiency.
Too bad the Celtics don’t care one bit about who they play or how their offense looks… They will find a way to shut you down.
Everyone chipped in on the defensive end and that’s how it’s been all season long. This entire team has bought in on the defensive end of the floor. It’s the total team defense and ability to run an effective fastbreak because of these defensive stops. Case and point.
The C’s held the Raptors to 94 points. That is 16 points less than their usual average. Jaylen Brown had two big-time stops on Demar DeRozan to finish the game and this defense is the reason they’ve won 12 in a row… It has effectively canceled out the C’s being 27th in field goal shooting percentage.
Other fun note. The Celtics out-rebounded the Raptors 46-36 and it was the 9th time in their last 10 games that they have won the rebounding battle.
On To The Next One
So here we are. The Celtics are winners of 12 in a row and nobody is having more fun than Celtics fans right now. Best defense in the league. Best record in the league. Consistently finding ways to win without star players in the lineup.
Brad Stevens is just continuing to show that he should be Coach of the Year
The C’s are back at it again Tuesday night against a Brooklyn team that isn’t atrociously awful like years past. We’re getting Masked Kyrie back in the lineup and I can’t wait.
YOU KNOW HOW IT GOES! HIT ‘EM WITH THE VIDDY!
Suck it, Raptors*