1. The Boston Celtics saved the great occasions rolling with a ninth consecutive victory. The newest victims have been the New Orleans Pelicans, who rallied a couple of occasions however have been by no means in a position to recover from the hump to really problem Boston.
The Celtics are actually 13-3 and lead the Milwaukee Bucks by 1.5 video games within the Eastern Conference. It’s nonetheless too early to be on “standings watch”, however the wins all rely the identical. That Boston has been in a position to stack this many victories collectively whereas being with out key contributors is large. It’s a assure that it’s going to matter once we get to March and April and begin watching the standings day by day.
2. The Celtics went 20-for-46 from behind the arc on this sport. It was one other sport in a string of massive efforts from downtown. In phrases of quantity and accuracy, Boston has been the league’s high three-point capturing staff.
In this sport, the Celtics took benefit of the way in which the Pelicans have been defending the arc. In pick-and-roll actions, Jonas Valanciunas is sort of at all times going to drop to guard the paint. That left Al Horford wide-open to start the scoring:
But it wasn’t simply Valanciunas. Every Pelicans defender was laying again within the display sport. Here, Jayson Tatum walked into an open pullup:
And typically the Celtics needed to work for his or her triple. This is an effective job by Sam Hauser to maintain the ball alive earlier than Luke Kornet kicked it out to Derrick White:
3. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 27 factors, but it surely was his playmaking that stood out. (Yes, we’ll discuss in regards to the turnovers, however that is coming later.)
Brown will be so affected person now. That begins together with his preliminary assault off the catch however continues all over. When he attracts a number of defenders, Brown makes the simple kickout to Grant Williams:
A few performs later, Brown is making an attempt to overpower Jose Alvarado right here. That attracts Naji Marshall to the paint to assist. Brown sees Marshall coming and makes the straightforward go out to Derrick White:
4. Derrick White…there simply is not way more to say. He was excellent on this sport. With Marcus Smart out once more and Malcolm Brogdon working his approach again, White stepped up with 35 massive minutes and a few nice play on each ends of the ground.
White could also be among the best gamers within the league on the rear-contest block. Shooters get by him, however White by no means quits on a play:
If he is not Boston’s greatest transition participant (that is most likely Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum), White is the Celtics most opportunistic transition participant. On this play, White sees the one participant between him and the rim is rookie Dyson Daniels. After push, White spins and floats it in:
Because of Boston’s excellent spacing, White is ready to actually assault mismatches. Jonas Valanciunas is a fish out of water right here. He has no probability of stopping White on this play:
5. As talked about above, Malcolm Brogdon was again. His timing on his shot was clearly off. That will most likely take a few video games to get again. But Brogdon made an affect as a passer with 4 assists in 18 minutes off the bench.
This is a veteran making the most of a rookie on a SLOB play. When Dyson Daniels would not get his head round to see the ball, Brogdon zips it by his ear to get Derrick White a layup:
This is a good learn of the ground by Brogdon. It’s one of many uncommon occasions Jonas Valanciunas got here as much as the extent of the ball. CJ McCollum is within the paint as Luke Kornet begins his roll, however Sam Hauser’s gravity as a shooter pulls McCollum away. Because Payton Pritchard and Jayson Tatum have the court docket spaced properly, their defenders can not help both. That’s straightforward cash for Brogdon to toss it to Luke Kornet for the dunk:
6. When he was drafted, Grant Williams was billed as an all-around participant. It’s taken a couple of years, however that is precisely what Williams has advanced into on the NBA degree. No, he is not a star by any means, however Williams is a jack-of-all-trades participant who does a number of issues fairly properly.
The most obvious enchancment has been with Williams’ off-the-dribble sport. Williams is a identified amount as a shooter now, so he attracts the arduous closeouts. This is in opposition to Herb Jones, who is without doubt one of the NBA’s higher perimeter defenders too. Also, discover how Williams will get his physique into Jones to guard his shot as he goes up for the layup:
Midway via the third quarter, Williams missed a floater so badly that everybody type of froze and he received his personal rebound with ease. But Williams being dedicated to creating the floater work is what makes photographs like this one so satisfying:
7. The Celtics had 28 assists on 41 baskets. They proceed to ping the ball round unselfishly to seek out one of the best photographs. This is simply beautiful basketball. Drive and kick out of pick-and-roll, adopted by driving a closeout for a kickout, adopted by a swing go for one of the best look:
You know Jayson Tatum needs to assault CJ McCollum right here. We’ve seen that one million occasions in his profession. But Tatum additionally is aware of Herb Jones is drifting in the direction of that mismatch to assist. That opens up Sam Hauser, who wants little or no time and area to let it fly:
8. In an effort to be balanced, Jaylen Brown was a multitude for a big portion of the second half. Six of Brown’s seven turnovers got here after halftime. There have been a couple of giveaways the place it appeared like Brown had by no means dealt with a basketball earlier than.
But Brown greater than made up for it late. He performed an element in three scores to assist Boston maintain off New Orleans. First was this good faux to Grant Williams on the break earlier than leaving for Al Horford for the loud end:
(*10*)A few performs later, after a foul turnover, Brown received to his spot for the pullup jumper:
And this was pure hustle and energy from Brown to keep it up:
Brown took possession of the turnovers and mentioned he and the Celtics should be higher with the ball. But making up for it within the second is what actually issues, and Brown got here via.
9. It wasn’t an enormous scoring sport from Jayson Tatum, however he made a number of performs as a passer, along with a pair as a scorer. This was Tatum’s greatest particular person play of the night time, as barely anybody breaks Herb Jones down off the bounce like this:
Late within the sport, Tatum delivered too. This was an enormous play, as a result of the Pelicans had simply minimize the Celtics result in six. Tatum might have compelled this, however he trusts his teammates and finds Grant Williams in his nook workplace:
Slightly later, Tatum did it himself by muscling over CJ McCollum for the floater to complete off New Orleans:
10. Nine wins in a row. It’s actually outstanding how properly Boston is taking part in proper now. Next up is a visit to Chicago to play the all of the sudden reeling Bulls. Chicago has dropped 4 straight to fall to a disappointing 6-10 on the season.
But the Celtics know nothing comes straightforward for them in opposition to the Bulls. The excellent news is that Boston has the weekend off earlier than taking part in in Chicago on Monday night time. Is a double-digit win streak on faucet? Tune in Monday to see if it is 10 in a row for the fellows in inexperienced.