Jeff Clark: This was a Brad Stevens classic “results don’t necessarily reflect the performance” games. I thought they looked sloppy, relied too heavily on Kyrie doing amazing Kyrie things, and simply let the Knicks score too much. That said, the Knicks are the Knicks and the Celtics did enough to win. So we’ll take it, but I think Brad will find plenty of teachable moments clips from the game tape.
By the way, I can’t help but dream of the day when Tatum is past his rookie wall days and Gordon Hayward is fully healthy. This team is going to be a lot of fun to watch and follow when they fully develop and form up.
Bobby Manning: Everybody’s looking smooth out of the break. Jaylen Brown’s progress continues, Jayson Tatum’s hitting shots, Daniel Theis’ is reminding us he’s one of Danny Ainge’s greatest finds ever and Kyrie Irving’s getting back to the 30s. Everybody’s rolling, except Greg Monroe.
I’ll withhold judgement for the moment, we should be past the conditioning recovery from the Phoenix buyout and the week it took to sign him, now it’s about fit. Monroe’s -28 since joining Boston, was a -12 in a game BOS dominated whenever he left the floor, and once again struggled to fit offensively or even play defense.
His style presents visible issues when he plays center, his game sits in the low post, stopping the ball and eating up shot clock to try and get his floaters off. He’s made some smooth shots, but when he misses or doesn’t get the ball he’s so far behind the play the middle of Boston’s defense is wide open for opponents to attack, and Trey Burke did often tonight. It’s still early, but with Aron Baynes’ entire season and Theis only improving, it still looks like Monroe’s the third center on this team whenever Baynes returns.