Rolling together with a blowout: 10 Takeaways from Boston Celtics-San Antonio Spurs


1. At any time when Jayson Tatum is out, there’s at the very least a momentary fear about how the Boston Celtics will play with out him. These worries lasted till about halfway by means of the second quarter towards the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Boston pulled away for a double-digit lead by the point halftime hit. Within the third quarter and begin of the fourth quarter, the Celtics poured it on a lot that that the sport was a runaway.

Jaylen Brown led the way in which for Boston, however he wasn’t left to do it himself. Malcolm Brogdon turned in an excellent evening off the bench, as did Rob Williams. Derrick White did his always-solid Derrick White factor. Marcus Good was efficient, earlier than getting tossed early. And Al Horford turned in an excellent 22 minutes himself.

The Celtics have strung collectively a bunch of fine wins in a row. This was essentially the most dominant of the bunch. Positive, the Spurs are rebuilding and one of many worst groups within the league. However Boston destroyed San Antonio. The Celtics handed the Spurs their worst lack of the Gregg Popovich period. That’s not one thing that may simply be disregarded as “Properly, the Spurs stink.” To win on this vogue, with out Tatum, is notable.

2. Jaylen Brown received issues began early. When he overpowered Devin Vassell this simply, we may have guessed it was going to be a kind of nights for Brown:

The rest of the primary half featured Brown usually attending to the rim at will. What was actually thrilling was a stretch within the third quarter the place Brown confirmed off a bit of little bit of every thing he can do.

Workforce can’t pull smaller defenders on Brown anymore. He’s too good along with his deal with now (isn’t {that a} heck of a factor?) for them to disrupt his assaults. And he’ll simply spin off them and energy over when he will get to his spot:

Brown’s recreation was once all energy and velocity. He’s received a lot craft to his recreation now. This can be a beautiful fadeaway on the baseline:

Simply when the protection thinks they’ve slowed Brown down in transition, he hits them with the spin transfer for the layup:

As nice and enjoyable as the opposite stuff is, this can be a playoff shot. That is the one that may assist Brown get buckets when Boston wants them within the postseason:

3. The Celtics type of out-Spursed the Spurs by enjoying nice in transition on this recreation. Boston was on the assault nearly from the soar. As to be anticipated, Derrick White was proper in the midst of the run-and-gun strategy:

It’s nice to see Jaylen Brown differ his tempo right here. Brown picks it up as he approaches the arc. That will get the protection considering there’s a drive coming, and Brown zips it to Marcus Good within the nook:

Taking part in in transition affords the alternatives for highlights, posters and GIFs:

Whereas it’s not fairly the Tom Brady-era Patriots going for the double rating earlier than halftime and opening the second half, however the NBA has it’s model the place a workforce can double-score on the finish of the primary or third quarter and are available again with one other hoop to open the second or fourth quarter. Boston pulled it off by Malcolm Brogdon going onerous after a Rob Williams block to finish the third quarter:

To open 1 / 4, most groups will stroll it up and run a set play. Right here, Brown pushed it proper on the Spurs and appeared to catch them off-guard earlier than kicking it out to White:

That double-score stretch pushed a 17-point result in 22 factors within the span of about 11 seconds of game-time. That was successfully recreation over.

4. Malcolm Brogdon was added to provide the Celtics regular scoring when issues get robust on the offense. He was additionally introduced in to assist Boston keep away from a drop-off when a star is out. Mission completed on each fronts.

Brogdon has been such a very good scorer, that it’s generally simple to overlook he’s nonetheless a degree guard at coronary heart. Passes like this are a pleasant reminder:

The Good-to-Brown transition backdoor is a superb search for Boston. Right here, the Spurs react, or higher mentioned: overreact, to it. Nice cross from Brown to the wide-open Brogdon:

Playoff defenses attempt to guard the arc and take away the rim. Scoring in the midst of the ground turns into enormous. We talked about it with Brown above, and this can be a playoff-type of shot from Brogdon too:

5. Boston was locked in defensively on this one. Within the first quarter, they gave up just a few too many open seems to be, however they tightened that up as the sport went alongside. An enormous a part of their success on protection was blocking photographs, and so they received these blocks in every kind of how.

It’s fairly uncommon to see Doug McDermott get his jumper blocked, however Grant Williams received him right here:

Zach Collins had no likelihood towards Al Horford on this play:

Marcus Good received’t be the DPOY this yr, however he’s nonetheless making DPOY performs generally:

6. We shouted out Derrick White’s work in transition, however he was fairly good all recreation lengthy. This was a terrific discover to Sam Hauser, as White form of handed Hauser to the spot right here:

This possession was a multitude earlier than White rescued it with a late-clock pullup:

Ideally, Rob Williams turns and places on this quick shot himself. However we’re by no means going to cross up an opportunity to provide some good ball motion some shine, as White buries the center of what was three consecutive triples:

7. Talking of Rob…he seemed like ROB on this one. This stretch confirmed simply what a distinction maker Williams is for Boston.

This type of up-quick offensive rebound and putback for the and-1 is a dimension Rob brings that no different Celtic does:

Even when Williams might need traveled right here (he in all probability did), it was good to see him end a play with a bit of transfer. He’s often a catch-and-straight-up-with-it man:

And talking of catching…this can be a fairly ridiculous catch of the tipped cross and end by Williams:

8. Al Horford is doing increasingly more capturing on the transfer. It’s a complete different side to the Celtics offense for opponents to need to plan for, versus the usual spot-up and pick-and-pop stuff.

Horford features as a trailer right here. Marcus Good goes vast with the ball, whereas Derrick White walks right into a pure display. Horford catches and pulls from a few steps behind the arc:

Pin-downs and flare screens are often set by a giant for a guard or a wing. When a small screens off the massive, it places the opponent in a difficult spot and sometimes leads to the massive man being open for the shot. When that large man is Horford, it’s cash for Boston:

9. Many individuals within the league will let you know there’s no such factor as rubbish time within the NBA. Not for the end-of-the-bench guys who want improvement minutes in a aggressive surroundings. That’s why issues like The Elam Ending are superb for, and ought to be utilized in, exhibition video games, however by no means in actual video games.

For instance, this can be a shot late in a blowout, but it surely’s one thing actual to file away for JD Davison. The knock on him out of faculty was that he was a uber-athlete however couldn’t shoot. Seeing Davison confidently step into this shot and bury it’s a good thing for him:

Pending what occurs with Payton Pritchard this offseason, the Celtics might be out there for level guard depth. Davison might be that man with a powerful summer season of labor.

10. The Celtics are taking it one recreation at a time. Sure, the Milwaukee Bucks are looming on Thursday, however there’s a recreation towards the Washington Wizards to get by means of first on Tuesday. Boston’s next-one strategy is serving them properly, as they attempt to run down the Bucks atop the convention.

The Celtics go for 4 in a row on Tuesday, and so they want all of them, because the common season winds to its conclusion.



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