Keith Smith: One win does not a season make, no matter the opponent. But 14 straight wins, and the most recent one over the best team the NBA has seen in decades, goes a long way. This Celtics team is a mystery. Almost none of it makes sense. They win ugly and with defense, when most other teams are winning with bucket fulls of offense. They win young, when no one ever wins young in the NBA. And they are doing it as a team.
I grew up on the 1980s Celtics. I loved the 1986 team like no one else. I still remember plays from that season as vividly as anything else in my life. I loved the 2008 team because of everything they did to bring basketball back in Boston and how quickly they did it. I loved the 2015 team and how silly it was that they made that late season run to the playoffs.
This team might be my favorite one of all.
Mike DePrisco: Jaylen Brown seems to play his best against the best teams and players in the NBA. It’s almost as if everyone else is not worthy of his time. 22 points and 7 rebounds, along with guarding Kevin Durant just as well as you can hope for.
Brown sparked the third quarter turnaround when the Celtics looked dead in the water while Golden State was in the middle of a game sealing sprint. #7 is for real folks, and there’s no reason not to believe the Celtics ceiling is limitless with him and Jayson Tatum continuing to improve.
Greg Cassoli: I was mulling over being a wet blanket here, and diving into the recklessness that is Kyrie Irving playing without his mask, but you know what? The Celtics just beat the Golden State Warriors! We can worry about rash decisions with implications for long-term health another time. Tonight is a night to savor.
The Warriors are a buzzsaw- possibly the best NBA team to ever walk on a court. Taking them down, even if it's a regular season game in November, is a big deal. Not to mention doing so as part of a 14 game winning streak. They've only lost 18 times in the past two years. The Celtics have beaten them twice, which means they account for 11.1% of Golden State's losses in that same time frame. That might not mean anything in the long run, but sometimes- maybe even all the time- watching NBA basketball is about having fun, so worry about the little things another day. This win is one to enjoy.
Romy Nehme: I don't know about you guys, but I was trying really hard not to have any expectations about this game. In an attempt not to get over invested, I tried all the fidgety distractions in the book: eating, drinking, texting, internetting ... I was watching, but with an alibi, just in case they lost. But a funny thing happened. The Celtics were playing ug-ly ball, but at some point -- critics can debate it the MASK OFF moment stirred something in the team -- or if it started even earlier than that, at the 8 minute mark in the 3rd when Brown's great defense on Durant led to a threeeee by Morris, the Celtics started generating offense from their frenetic defensive intensity. All that hustling completely discombobulated the Warriors, who were never able to get into their lethal offensive rhythm, where they start shoveling rubble on your head until you realize you've been buried under a pile of sharp passing and even sharper shooting. More often than not, the Celtics have found a way of winning not by disrupting opposing teams' defense, but by making their playing style completely unrecognizable. The Celtics' are this year's universal foil. You might think you have a gameplan to beat them, but the Celtics' design is to thwart yours. Boy has that been a winning strategy so far.