Let me just copy & paste every recap intro real quick: The Celtics got off to a slow start in this one. Brad Stevens was forced to call a timeout four minutes into the game with the Celtics trailing 14-3.
Boston had plenty of open three-point opportunities to start the game, but Gordon Hayward’s bucket was the only one that went in for the first six minutes.
The start of the second quarter was arguably worse - the Celtics weren’t missing shots, because they weren’t taking any. And they weren’t taking any because they were turning the ball over before they could. On the other end, Brian Scalabrine described the defense in two words: “no resistance.”
Brad’s answer? Tacko Fall. Did it work? No.
But did he at least do well in his first real NBA minutes? ....... Sort of? Tacko definitely has a strong sense of when and where to set screens, which opened up some of Boston’s offense. On defense, he was constantly attacked and therefore Boston wasn’t able to make up any ground.
The Celtics trailed 65-47 at the half.
18 is right where we want them, big second half incoming baby— Jeremy (@Taco_Haus) January 9, 2020
Sure enough, the Celtics registered signs of a pulse in the third quarter, where they quickly trimmed the deficit to nine. It was a run that would make coach Brad proud, as the Celtics clawed their way back by hitting singles, a stop on one end, followed by a bucket on the other. Two steals led to two Tatum dunks.
Kemba Walker was then ejected after getting leveled by Lamarcus Aldridge. His two technicals, paired with Brad’s tech, all rolled together with a foul called on the play spotted the Spurs five free throws on one possession. Boston’s momentum was killed, and the Spurs regained a steep advantage. Spurs led 99-83 after three.
The worst part is the Celtics will get my hopes up somehow and then lose by 4— Jeremy (@Taco_Haus) January 9, 2020
Gordon Hayward offered a quick burst in the fourth quarter with a couple three-pointers. And then the game was terrible again.
Tatum lost the ball on a drive. Kanter got shredded on defense. Brown, who might have the greatest sense of control of anybody, looked aimless maneuvering through the defense without finding any openings. Even Hayward’s hot hand cooled off when he got to the rim for what looked like an easy two.
Post game notes and observations:
Grant Williams attempted 0 shots in his 14 non-garbage minutes.
Javonte Green was the only plus in the box score. He was +5 in about six minutes before garbage time.
Daniel Theis: 15 points, 5-10 shooting, 2-4 from three, 3-3 FTs, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 0 turnovers, 4 fouls (war on Theis rages on)
Gordon Hayward: 18 points, 7-14 shooting, 4-7 from three, 3 reb, 3 ast, 1 steal, 1 block
Tacko Fall: One really nice hook shot