The 2017-18 Boston Celtics improved their already stellar early season record with an exciting game over NBA's new Dream Team, the Golden State Warriors. However, the only thing that was golden tonight was Curry's constipated scoring. Meanwhile, the Celtic's team was led by Brown's big deuces. Omg. I am so sorry to whomever reads this. Too easy; potty humor, especially potty humor puns are the lowest form of comedy. We'll talk more about Brown's high notes later. (Giggles)
This win for the Celtics was HUGE. Not how President Donald Trump says “UGE”, NEVER how Trump says “H-UGE”, but this was a big Win, Bigly. (Stop it Jules, this ain’t about politics either). Ok politics and potty humor aside, the Celtics win their 14 straight to improve their record to 14-2; AND they did it all tonight against the defending Champs the Golden State Warriors. Had the Celtics lost, I would have written this article up with a theme of the future (kids) vs the current men (kings) of Basketball. Seriously, the Celtics should not have won this game. They simply shouldn’t have. Marcus Smart scored 1 point tonight and only had 3 assists. Smart isn’t known for his high field goal percentage (28% in 2017 down 7 points from his career 35.2% average), but tonight he almost blew it for us. Keyword: ALMOST. A win is still a win and this one was exciting until the final seconds where the Celtics secured the lead and the 4-point, 92-88 win over the Defending NBA Champs.
This game almost makes you feel like we have a chance against them in the playoffs. Almost…
This is a night where Stephen Curry ONLY scored 9 points, where Curry was cold from downtown going 2-9 behind the arc. This was a game where Durant ONLY scored 24 points and where their team as A WHOLE scored less than 90 points, the fewest they’ve scored all season snapping their 7 game win streak. The Warriors had averaged 121 points a game during their 7 game win streak. The Celtics only averaged 103 points per game during their 13 game win streak entering tonight. The math just did not add up yet, but the Celtics were at Home in Boston tonight and they had Balls.
We learned and confirmed a few crucial things tonight.
First, let’s give a well deserved Shout out to my boy Jaylen Brown, as I said in the previous post, this guy is so slick and so talented, that steal and dunk in the first quarter, his stellar defense, leading the team in points (22) which included 3 key shots from behind the arc. I’ll keep saying it until he proves me wrong, he is our best 3-point shooter on the team. If Rozier can step it up and become a wing threat that can also burn you with his speed in the paint… man oh man.. This team is scary good. Not only do they have youth, but they have Brad Stevens! On most nights this year, you can expect to see Kyrie Irving leading the team in scoring, but I’m going to flip out when Brown breaks out for a 30 or 40 point game. Just give it time, you’ll see. Brown and Rozier are my picks to go nuclear on a team on any given night.
Second, Al Horford is the glue that keeps this team from collapsing. He shot a crazy 63% from the field and made an insane right rook shot with the shot clock completely expired. Not many people can make that shot under pressure, packed stadium, volume at 10. His 18 points (while missing all this 3-point attempts) were absolutely clutch. Horford has actually been very good behind the arc this year with 48% made (13 points higher than his 35% career average). It just doesn’t look pretty when anyone 6’ 10” makes lankey 3-pointers. But no hate on Al, Big game Al, he’s a veteran player that is great for team chemistry, scores points, doesn’t give away possessions and he led the team tonight with 11 rebounds. I’m not getting his Jersey anytime soon, because he’s more of a journeyman than a core-4, but I can 100% say the Celtics wouldn’t play at such a high level without him. Especially if Marcus Smart is going to have the occasional off-night, growing pain, we need Al to keep us level. Al is the bran muffin of the NBA.
Third, Jayson Tatum has a sweet layup. I saw this in the game versus the Lakers, I saw it again tonight, Tatum can attack the rim with great body control and toss it in against the glass. Now, I haven’t really observed yet if this attack is one sided, meaning only right or left side of the court or only with the right/left hand. I’ll try to pick that up the more I watch him, but for now, I’m very comfortable with him attacking the paint. His +/- was a -18, so I’m not sure what he did wrong to warrant a bad statistical game, but he cemented the game with 2 free throws in the final minute and although he only made 2 field goals all night, he somehow scored more than Curry. Don’t expect that to be a trend, EVER, this year, but I’m not going to complain at all if it continues.
Fourth, Kyrie Swer-ving. Irving has mad skill yo. I was excited to see how he’d perform with the mask on. Not as good as Jim Carey, but better than DiCaprio. As I posed in my last post, I really wanted to know who would get the ball with the game on the line. Tonight that question was answered, give the ball to Kyrie. Even if he doesn’t take the last shot, pull back jumper black mamba style, he did a very veteran drive to the paint to get the foul which tied the game when he made both free throws. Irving only scored 16 points, and only shot 25% from the field, but he was good enough. He’s only going to get better as he heals, and it’s going to be exciting watching the-next-man-up philosophy preside until Kyrie morphs into a superstar. But in my opinion, while many want to give Kyrie that status already, especially since he was mentored (presumably) by the King Lebron himself, I don’t think their relationship was that amicable. Not that he couldn’t have excelled in Lebron’s shadow, but Kyrie likes to dribble, likes to be that guy with responsibility, and he couldn’t be that guy with Lebron next to him demanding the respect he’s rightly earned. That’s why Dwayne Wade requested to play off the bench, so that when Lebron rests, Wade could come in and remind people that he still got game. But neither Wade nor Irving are complementary pieces, they are protein, they are the meat dish even though Kyrie went Vegan. Right now, Irving can be happy because he is the big dog in Boston, but I’m wondering, what if… Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and/or Jayson Tatum develop faster than him? Will Kyrie be all pissy again? Or will things be cool as long as he’s the one with the ball with the game on the line? Maybe the snobbery was just a symptom of playing next to the king, a noxious cloud of negative energy. I don’t see that being an issue. One, because Kyrie is going to get better. As long as he stays healthy, you can count on him for nearly 20 points a night. No matter how good his teammates get around him, it only makes Kyrie better because the opposition will have to figure out who to stick their best defender with, making Irving’s already stellar one-on-one abilities much more pronounced.
That’s why I love this team. Al Horford and Aron Baynes can mentor Irving who can then mentor Smart, Rozier, Brown and Tatum. What’s great about this team is that the top of the hierarchy is not both their oldest and best players. Plus, besides some weird flat earther comments that I pray are just jokes, there isn’t any Lavar Ball-esque controversy. It’s all smiles today in Boston, as it should be, they deserve it.