1. This was one other full victory for the Boston Celtics. In their very own phrases, they performed the proper manner and did it all over the tip of the sport. Very like earlier this season, when the crew went by a tough patch and bounced again with some actually good basketball, it appears we’re seeing a redux now.
For a change, these Takeaways aren’t going to give attention to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Which will appear an odd determination in a recreation there the 2 stars mixed for 61 factors, however that’s sort of what they do. And to be totally clear, the Celtics stars basically ran a layup line to the rim. Whereas that’s superior to see, and their particular person shot profiles from this recreation are fairly good, a bunch of layups don’t make for overly fascinating clips.
As a substitute, we’re going to provide shine to a few of the “different” Celtics. Tatum and Brown will present up, as a result of quite a lot of stuff they did was created by others for them, or vice versa. However let’s present some love elsewhere for a change.
2. Derrick White has been indispensable this season. He’s arguably Boston’s most constantly efficient two-way participant. As Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s roles have grown on offense, they don’t all the time convey it 100% on protection. That’s not likely a criticism, however a merely truthful commentary, and one which’s true about each predominant offensive engine.
So, that leaves White because the man who most frequently brings it on each ends, even when his offensive peaks aren’t as excessive as Tatum or Brown’s. Right here’s an instance proper from the beginning of this recreation. This sequence helped set a tone for the Celtics. This clip begins with the aftermath of White getting one in all his now-patented strip blocks. It then ends with White making a steal that led to a Tatum bucket:
Good issues occur when White will get the ball in transition, as a result of he understands tempo higher than anybody on the crew:
White additionally has an incredible sense of the place his defender is leaning. If the defender is simply too far someway, White is placing him within the spin cycle:
This can be a affected person and terrific discover by White to Brown, who delivers the actually sturdy end:
3. We stated it after the final recreation, however Rob Williams raises the Celtics ceiling. A number of gamers and Joe Mazzulla shouted out Williams being again as giving the crew that additional juice they should make their run. These are performs Williams makes for Boston that nobody else does.
Want to scrub up some messiness? Right here’s Williams to dam the shot together with his forearm:
Derrick White is aware of what he desires right here the entire manner, as did Jaylen Brown on the preliminary drive. Ultimately that endurance pays off with everybody’s favourite lob to Rob:
Creating additional pictures is one in all Williams’ specialties. This can be a good offensive rebound and an incredible cross to Grant Williams for the second-chance dunk:
Eight rebounds and three blocks are nice from Williams. However what’s actually eye-catching is that he had three steals. Meaning he’s energetic and fast and making issues messy for the opponent. That’s the sort of game-wrecking power the Celtics want him to be to get again to the Finals.
4. Means again when, your intrepid creator wrote about how the Celtics had cracked the code on three-point protection. For years, Boston ranked within the top-10 in three-point protection, which is normally a stat largely attributed to luck. However the Celtics had been doing it in another way from different groups.
Properly, they’re again to it once more this 12 months too. After weeks of sitting in the midst of the pack, Boston has amped up their efforts on the arc. They held the Pacers, one of many league’s prolific three-point-bombing groups, to only 4-of-26 from deep. That effort moved Boston as much as seventh within the NBA in opponent three-point share. That’s a part of a gradual climb and an indication that the Celtics are rounding into defensive kind once more.
5. Marcus Sensible’s stat-line from this one is fairly understated. He had 5 assists and three steals, however solely took three pictures. However that’s in some methods, the proper Sensible recreation. He was energetic on protection, and did a pleasant job taking Tyrese Haliburton out of his recreation earlier than Haliburton sat for the evening.
And Sensible made some stat performs too. That is good basketball. Jaylen Brown hits the paint, then Sensible makes the additional cross to get Derrick White an incredible look:
This steal is generally being in the proper place on the proper time, however Sensible is all the time in the proper place on the proper time when he’s on his recreation. What’s actually enjoyable is the cross he loops to Jayson Tatum for the layup:
Sensible and White are beginning to develop some nice chemistry now. Sufficient so, that you simply wish to see them keep the beginning backcourt for so long as issues preserve rolling alongside:
6. Al Horford is a treasure. He does so many issues to assist the Celtics win. A kind of issues is setting screens to get his teammates going.
This can be a broad pin-down display that frees Jaylen Brown up simply sufficient for the triple:
Jayson Tatum has gotten actually good at working behind a transition display from Horford:
This late in a blowout, Horford doesn’t care about his personal numbers. He may have popped out when the protection made no effort to path him off a display from Tatum. However as an alternative, Horford flows direct into one other display, which permits Derrick White to dribble right into a pullup three:
7. After all, Al Horford makes many extra direct performs as nicely. This can be a good effort to get for the rebound, then it’s an ideal TD cross dropped on Jaylen Brown:
That is simply Horford being smarter than the protection. He units an unused display in transition and when the defender stays with the cutter, Horford merely pops again for his personal shot:
And, like the great Staff Dad that he’s, Horford is all the time there to scrub up a large number:
8. Okay…so we lied…we’re going to focus a Takeaway on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But it surely’s not about them scoring. It’s about them making issues occur for others.
Brown may have shot this, however outdated pal Aaron Nesmith did a pleasant job chasing over the staggered screens. Brown as an alternative drops it again to Al Horford for the higher look:
Brown’s playmaking has hit a brand new stage. That permits Boston to make use of actions the place so much is occurring. Watch this set a few instances to see all of the participant motion because the Celtics learn and react to the protection:
Extra actions the place Tatum and Brown display for one another are creeping into the Celtics offense. This one is off-ball, which makes it much more enjoyable. Take a look at how a lot Indiana overreacts to this, which leaves Tatum broad open:
When your stars are keen to set off-ball screens, everyone seems to be keen to set off-ball screens:
9. That is only a fast, however refined factor right here. Grant Williams has been experimenting with a no-dip shot increasingly just lately. It’s one thing a few of the finest spot-up shooters use so much, as a result of it permits for getting a shot off in opposition to tighter contests. It takes time to good, however Williams appears to be getting it down:
10. The Celtics are discovering themselves once more. Even when late-February and early-March had been irritating, because it felt like Milwaukee and Philadelphia had been going to roll into the playoffs, Boston is getting there now too. One may even make a case that the others might need peaked too early. We gained’t, as a result of the Bucks and 76ers are good groups and might be a handful within the playoffs.
However the primary factor is the Celtics are wanting so much just like the Celtics once more. And the crew appears to have adopted a really Patriots-like one-game-at-a-time method. By focusing solely on the subsequent recreation, Boston can get locked in total. That’s a playoff mindset at work.
The Celtics are again at it with an early 6:00 PM ET tip on Sunday in opposition to the San Antonio Spurs. We’ll see if the optimistic momentum can proceed by the tip of the weekend.