1. The Boston Celtics had nothing to play for in opposition to the Toronto Raptors on Friday evening. The Raptors nonetheless had an opportunity to get into the 7-8 Play-In Event Recreation, so it was a significant sport for them. However, as an alternative of what might need been anticipated, Boston overwhelmed Toronto and it was a blowout.
A number of common sat this one out, as they’re nursing accidents heading into the playoffs. Nothing is taken into account overly critical for Jaylen Brown, Marcus Sensible or Malcolm Brogdon, however all may use the time without work their toes.
With out these three, Boston’s depth dominated on this sport. Jayson Tatum set the tone, however it was the Celtics which can be decrease on the depth chart that carried the crew all through the second half.
It was a pleasant step ahead for the deeper bench gamers, as they’ll most likely get all of the minutes they will deal with in Sunday’s meaningless common season finale.
2. Jayson Tatum drew three and-1s on Friday evening. He was in assault mode proper from the bounce, and a protracted, athletic, Raptors crew may do little to cease Tatum.
On this one, Tatum will get his shoulders by Jakob Poeltl and takes the little bump from behind as he lays it in:
A bit of later, Tatum makes use of his crossover to get downhill on Scottie Barnes earlier than hanging after the contact for the and-1:
Another time, late within the first half, Tatum attacked in opposition to a scrambled Toronto protection and went proper by the contact for a 3rd and-1:
3. Earlier than he exited the sport for the evening at halftime, Jayson Tatum did loads of playmaking too. This primary help is a delayed pick-and-roll with Rob Williams. With Jakob Poeltl up the ground, Tatum places the go is the place solely Rob Williams can get it:
It is a high-level discover from Tatum to Sam Hauser. The nice factor? We’re seeing increasingly of this from Tatum on a regular basis:
4. Talking of Sam Hauser…he set a brand new career-high with 26 factors. There have been six threes within the bunch, due to course he hit a bunch of them. However Hauser dunked thrice. Not solely did he dunk thrice, however they had been the primary three dunks of Hauser’s NBA profession!
The primary one got here on the break off a pleasant setup from Al Horford:
The final of the three got here on this reduce, and despatched the Celtics bench into hysterics:
5. Rob Williams is trying rather a lot like ROB once more. He was in every single place on this sport and did a bit of little bit of the whole lot.
You possibly can play drop protection in opposition to display screen actions when your huge could make up floor like this:
Now that he’s discovering his rhythm, Boston is placing the ball in Williams’ palms extra to make performs from the perimeter. It is a attractive discover after faking the handoff:
There isn’t one other crew within the league that has two bigs that may do that. Williams blocks the shot, Al Horford recovers and runs the break, earlier than discovering Williams operating down the lane for the layup:
A number of video games in the past, we noticed Williams make a play on a post-up after an offensive rebound the place he used an up-and-under transfer. Right here, Williams catches within the submit and works his approach to the block for the brief turnaround. They’re child steps, however Williams is rounding out his sport increasingly:
6. Derrick White took on the playmaking duties and he delivered 10 assists on the evening. Off a pleasant block from Al Horford, White takes one dribble earlier than he drops the right hit-ahead go on Jayson Tatum for the runout dunk:
White is so good in transition, as a result of he’s good about taking part in on the correct tempo. White doesn’t go too quick right here, however he lets issues develop after which he’s into the paint for the kickout to Horford within the nook:
7. With Marcus Sensible and Malcolm Brogdon each out, Payton Pritchard acquired his likelihood and he made essentially the most of it. Pritchard scored 22 factors, grabbed 4 rebounds and handed out 5 assists.
It doesn’t matter how little he’s performed, Pritchard goes to confidently step into photographs once they come his approach:
Usually, Pritchard is extra scorer than playmaker, however he did job with the latter on this one. First, he attached with Sam Hauser for the triple off the good kickout:
Then, Pritchard discovered Hauser reducing by the backdoor for the center of his three dunks:
When Blake Griffin hustles for the offensive board and casually flips you the behind-the-back go, it’s a must to end it:
Payton Pritchard can play. Like actually play. On the very worst, he generally is a high-end backup level guard. With the Celtics depth, it most likely received’t occur in Boston. Hopefully there’s a win-win state of affairs discovered this summer time
8. Mike Muscala has seen some prolonged minutes this week. He’s additionally taken benefit by taking part in effectively. That would give Joe Mazzulla confidence in calling on him as a fourth or fifth huge within the playoffs, ought to the state of affairs come up.
It is a good end from Muscala off the offensive rebound. It exhibits he can do greater than be a spot-up shooter from deep:
9. When Joe Mazzulla went deep into his bench, JD Davison and Luke Kornet hooked as much as put a capper on the sport:
10. Sunday’s common season finale might be going to characteristic quite a lot of the bench. It could be a shock if any of the Celtics top-seven or eight gamers performed or performed a lot past a cameo look. It’ll be enjoyable to see how these deeper reserves look, however there isn’t going to be quite a lot of critical evaluation after a meaningless sport for each groups.
Due to that, we will flip our collective eyes to Tuesday. That’s when the Miami Warmth will host the Atlanta Hawks within the 7-8 sport within the Jap Convention Play-In Event. The winner of that sport would be the Celtics first spherical opponent within the 2023 Playoffs.
Sunday is about having some enjoyable, seeing a few of the deep bench gamers getting an opportunity to indicate out and placing the lid on what’s been a really profitable 2022-23 common season.