Usually, I begin writing my recaps at halftime. With 3:46 left within the first half, I figured that I’d have a ton of optimistic issues to say because the Boston Celtics led 50-41. They completed the half down 56-54, which illustrates how unstable tonight’s sport was in opposition to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Whereas some questions nonetheless stay after a disastrous-so-far December, they have been in a position to pull out the 121-109 win tonight behind a Jaylen Brown (36 factors and seven rebounds) fourth-quarter masterpiece and one other MVP efficiency from Jayson Tatum (30 factors, 8 rebounds and 5 assists).
After lacking the final sport with a non-COVID sickness, Marcus Good (10 assists) got here in and was an immediate burst of power. The field rating received’t replicate it in addition to the attention check did, however Good’s tempo and area (he was the one Celtic to make a 3 over the workforce’s first 12 makes an attempt) improved Boston’s prospects dramatically. After wanting just like the workforce like we liked and trusted over the primary 25 video games within the first jiffy, the Celtics rapidly reverted to a number of turnovers and simply horrible shot making for giant chunks of the sport. Joe Mazzulla has loads to determine with regards to determining the rotations.
For the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Cities continued to overlook time together with his calf damage, leaving Anthony Edwards (30 factors, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a pair of blocks), Rudy Gobert (8 factors, 12 rebounds and 0 blocks) and D’Angelo Russell (21 factors, 11 assists) to choose up the slack. Minnesota’s backcourt put a variety of strain on Boston all night time, begging the query of when Boston’s perimeter protection will enhance. Naz Reid had a huge impact off the bench, posting 14 factors, 5 rebounds, and a pair of blocks. He instantly injected Minnesota’s lineup with power, punishing Boston together with his capturing and energy on the boards.
Within the second half, Derrick White (18 factors) lastly began to get it going with some laborious drives to the rim. The Celtics have to retain White’s barber in any respect prices if a contemporary reduce is all it takes. White’s aggression helped out large time because the Celtics fell behind by as a lot as 8 factors within the third quarter. There have been moments tonight when the Celtics regarded actually good. It’s only a disgrace we didn’t see extra of it. Not less than we noticed sufficient to get the win!
Boston received a significant carry as Tatum was flagrant fouled capturing a 3-pointer on the finish of the third. He made all of his freethrows adopted by an Al Horford (17 factors, 11 rebounds) 3-pointer proper after, making a six-point play for the blokes in inexperienced. Boston appeared poised to make the identical mistake on the finish of the third after lastly creating separation, however a Horford three on the buzzer put the Celtics on prime getting into the fourth.
In a lineup that sometimes struggles, Jaylen Brown put his stamp on the sport to begin the fourth, and Boston was in a position to lastly create some separation because the Backyard crowd erupted with every large play. After that very same lineup struggled within the first half, it was a bit nerve-wracking watching Joe Mazzulla return to it. To his credit score, Brown actually stepped up, posting 23 factors within the fourth alone.
Halfway by the fourth, the very best workforce within the league returned. That is the workforce we loved watching the previous few months, and hopefully, this model of the workforce doesn’t go on trip once more.
Boston is again on prime of the Japanese Convention with a 23-10 document. They’ll look to keep up that standing because the Milwaukee Bucks come to city on Christmas Day at 5:00 p.m. ET.