The hardest part of this 8 game win streak that the Celtics are on right now is not overreacting. Seriously, it’s not the nail-biting finishes (I live for that shit). It’s not the missed layups and free throws (still frustrating). It’s keeping my mind in check when evaluating what I see from each and every game.
It’s hard because… Well… You know… They just keep winning and in turn answering every question thrown their way when it comes to validating this streak. Most notably, “Well have they beaten anyone good?”. The Thunder game answered that, and honestly, last night was a Magic team that had been impressive so far this season.
Granted the Magic were without two key pieces in Alfred Payton and D.J. Augustin… But Aaron Gordon has been a force so far this season and the Celtics took it to him and the rest of the Magic.
The game started off with a horrible flow for both teams. The shooting was abysmal. Celtics weren’t hitting much. They shot 8-20 in the first quarter… Woof. The Magic weren’t much better, shooting 9-23. Still, the Celtics held the lead after the first and it was mainly because of THIS GUY RIGHT HERE
“Hey there, I’m Al. Don’t mind me, just a little-twisted ankle but I’m still on fire every time I shoot a basketball. Watch out.”
9 points in the first… 3-4 shooting, 2-2 from deep. Al Horford is continuing to have one of his best seasons in his career. He finished with 14 points 10 rebounds 4 assists and although these aren’t career highs for Al… It’s definitely the most complete his game has ever been.
Honestly there was never a point in this game where the Magic looked like they were going to win. It seemed as if they were just on the floor as a formality until the clock ran out and they could go home. Seriously the Celtics blew this game wide open simply because they tried harder… and Orlando stopped giving a shit.
Speaking of trying… Marcus Morris cracked the starting lineup last night to match up better with Orlando. Brad has a luxury with Morris and Baynes. When he needs a lineup that can run the floor in transition and get into a track meet, he has Morris. When he needs a big time rim-protector to set the tone of the game, he has Baynes.
Last night Morris didn’t try and do too much, he looked a lot more comfortable and took advantage of his opportunities. 12 points 7 rebounds is the perfect kind of production the Celtics need from him. There were times where he looked lost but I still chalk that up to it being his second game of the season. I loved what I saw last night in terms of his versatility.
Kyrie was solid last night. He was neither spectacular or awful. He was just solid in the role he was trying to play. The way he can set guys up is incredible, and I truly think he has the best ball handling skills in the league.
His ability to drive at will and kick to the open man is impressive and something that I don’t think has ever really been talked about a lot when it comes to his game. 11 points 5 assists isn’t the eye-opening stat line you expect but if you watched the game, Kyrie was just flat out smooth last night.
DID SOMEONE SAY SMOOTH? Yes… Jaylen and Jayson… I did…
The kids rocked last night. I’m not sure how many times I can talk about the leap Jaylen Brown has made or the poise Jayson Tatum has but I’m going to still do it anyway. Jaylen led the C’s in scoring with 18 on 7-13 shooting and 3-5 from deep. He also had 7 rebounds.
Jayson Tatum had 13 points 4 rebounds 4 assists on 5-8 shooting… EFFICIENCY. Everyone can keep talking about Lonzo Ball… We are just fine keeping Jayson Tatum a secret until he busts out for 40 one night. Not even just his scoring efficiency but just his ability to make the right play at the right time is amazing.
Finally, the beauty of last night came from the bench. Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier are incredible when on the floor together. I thought last night was one of Marcus’ best games of the season… 11 points 8 rebounds 8 assists 3 steals 1 block… Just another day at the office.
Again, I’m just trying to tell myself it’s another game… and the Celtics are back at it tonight in Atlanta against an effort-filled Hawks team coming off a win against Cleveland. It’s just one game at a time, but Brad knows that. The Celtics are still streaking, so everyone get the hell out of their way and let them run.
8 STRAIGHT WHAT DO YA SAY?!?!? WE FADED!