An unconventional starting five got off to a great start
Four of Boston’s rotation players — Payton Pritchard, Robert Williams, Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown — sat out tonight for a myriad reasons. So, the Celtics rolled out a five-person unit of Dennis Schröder, Romeo Langford, Jayson Tatum, Grant Williams, and Jabari Parker. Meanwhile, the Heat played what is likely to be their Opening Night starters. As everyone surely expected, the Celtics began the game with a 17-7 spurt.
Schröder and Langford combined for 13 of those points on a combined 6-for-7 shooting. Langford’s performance, in particular, stood out, as he is playing with a swagger and confidence on offense that wasn’t there his first two seasons. Hopefully, we’ll see this uber-aggressive version of Langford at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
Herro giving us flashbacks of Game 4 of the 2020 ECF
A little over a year ago (though it feels much longer), Tyler Herro dropped a career-high 37 points on the Celtics in Game 4 of the conference finals. The victory gave Miami a 3-1 series edge, and they ended up advancing in six. Herro provided Celtics fans with a not-so-pleasant reminder of his postseason scoring eruption during the opening two quarters.
He dropped a smooth 18 points in 13 minutes off the bench, the only Heat member aside from Jimmy Butler to reach double digits in scoring by halftime. Herro connected on six of nine shots, including three triples. Additionally, he got to the line three times. Averaging a team-high 20.8 points per game in the preseason, Herro appears primed for a breakout campaign in 2021-22.