Through three quarters, the Celtics were down 87-79 and not looking like they were going to pull off the win against the Memphis Grizzlies. It was the stagnant offense rearing its ugly head with everyone standing around and letting one or two guys try and score points for the majority of the game. Things were just not clicking for the Celtics offense, but eventually, the Celtics finally found a solution in their offensive scheme: using their pure athleticism to attack the rim to score.
At one point, the Celtics trailed by 19 points and they were getting beat in points in the paint. They could have called it a night and taken the loss, but instead, they used their pure scorers to go get buckets for them starting with Kyrie Irving.
Attack, attack, attack. Kyrie made a strong cut to the basket with a quality pass from Jayson Tatum. This leads to high percentage, inside points compared to the hero ball three-pointer that the Celtics occasionally settle for.
This aggressive mentality capped off multiple dribble drives to the basket throughout the fourth quarter. He scored all of his points in the final quarter around the rim which was highlighted by this quick, intelligent move to the rim to continue this Celtics comeback.
The way to beat this Memphis Grizzlies team is effective against many other good defensive teams: push in transition quicker than the opposing team can get back on defense. It is a simple plan, but most of the time difficult to execute.
It was not just Kyrie who was thinking attack first on offense. In this play, Al Horford gets a huge bucket and the foul after driving into the paint from the three-point line. It was a great attack after getting the rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. on a ball fake giving him a clear path to the basket and the foul.
Big Shot Al won this game for the Celtics hitting multiple clutch shot after shot throughout the closing minutes of the game. It all came from either him attacking as we saw in that clip or Horford waiting for the ball around the arc after Kyrie attacked the basket himself creating a better shot for Horford. Even if the shot does not come from attacking, it most likely will create a better shot for the other teammates as well.
With all of this being said, it is a testament to this team that multiple players on this roster have the ability to go get buckets. Yes, sometimes it is hard to get them into their groove, but the main take away is that the ability is there. No matter what the score is against any team the Celtics face, there is a chance the team comes back by just attacking the rim and scoring without much strategy behind it. These are skills most teams do not possess.
This comeback ability is something that the fan base needs to take consideration of before they freak out in a panic. The Celtics have the talent to compete with anyone in the league on any given night. They do not need to make any changes to get to their goal they want to achieve.
Ultimately, the team can harness this attack first mentality and use it in their offense and not just when they are down 19 points. They should take this Grizzlies game and build upon this aggressiveness which will help them stay in any game they are competing in for most of the season.
The Celtics may have their flaws this season which people are quick to point out. However, the team still has the never say die attitude which will carry with them all the way through the playoffs. It is an attitude that is more important than an individual game box score. The attitude was seen against the Grizzlies, and it will be seen again down the road. No matter what, do not give up on this Celtics team.