This is getting kind of nuts…
Finding out that Al Horford was out for last night’s matchup against the Lakers really bummed me out. Concussion protocol isn’t a thing to take lightly and it could mean extended time missed for Al depending on how that goes. Horford ranks first in the NBA in defensive rating and has been the heart of the Celtics so far this season.
Still, even with him out, I felt like last night was still a winnable game and that the Celtics should out-perform a Lakers team that still doesn’t seem to have an identity yet. The Lakers are like God spilt a basketball team and just decided to let it ride.
Is it the Lonzo show? Sure as shit doesn’t seem like it with the way he played last night… But we’ll get to that. Let’s dive right into the game.
SEASON SZN, FOLKS
The first half was action packed and a beauty to watch. Kyrie was shooting fire all over this flat Earth, he had the ball on a string and as soon as I think I can’t be even more WOW’d by Kyrie he does things like this…
COME ON. Are you kidding me? Kyrie is a free-range beast right now in Boston. No more being put in a box in Cleveland, no more deferring to LeBron because Bron needs the ball in his hands. KYRIE SWIRVING. Kyrie finished with 19 points 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
You said you want more highlights from that half? WE GOT ‘EM
It was highlight after highlight all through the half. It was awesome. We can all admit though, with the Celtics up 21 at one point, this game should have been put away much earlier than it actually was.
The second-half was UGLY… Some of the ugliest basketball we’ve seen from the Celtics. It didn’t help that we were dealt some tough news to start the half off.
Tatum went into the locker room towards the end of the first-half with the C’s training staff. It was determined that Tatum was dealing with “right ankle soreness” and there weren’t many details after that. The only update we got from there was that Tatum left the arena in a walking boot “Just to be safe”
Still, there was a half to be played and it did not look good. You know who did look good though?!?!?!
Aron Baynes was A+ last night.
He tied his career-high with 21 points on 8-12 shooting. He also had 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Baynes is everything the Celtics haven’t had over the past couple seasons of the Brad Stevens’ era. He protects the rim, crashes every board he can, and plays incredible big-man defense. In a league where everyone is so concerned about having a center that can shoot threes and stretch the floor, Baynes is a sight for sore eyes when it comes to that kind of contribution.
In a really ugly second-half, Baynes was a bright spot. He had a THUNDEROUS put back jam that made him look like the Air Jordan logo and I jumped out of my seat.
The Celtics found a way to hang on and win. People like Shane Larkin were getting significant runtime and were contributing in big ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Larkin took a big charge late in the game when LA was pushing back.
Want to know what I took away from this game the most?
No Al Horford, no Tatum for the second-half, the Celtics shot 39% from the floor and 24% from three. The Lakers tied the Celtics in rebounding and had strong bench performances. All of that happened and the Celtics still won by 11 points.
Last night said a lot more about the Celtics hanging on than it did about the Lakers hanging tough. The Celtics keep finding different ways to win basketball games. If something goes wrong, they adjust. Simple as that. Now they’re winners of 10 in a row.
Back at it again Friday night against Charlotte… BUT IN THE MEANTIME HIT THEM WITH THE NEW VICTORY VIDEO BABY