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Getting over the .500 hump: 10 Takeaways from Celtics-Thunder

Boston pushed their record over .500 for the first time this season by beating Oklahoma City

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Boston Celtics ball movement against the Oklahoma City Thunder was on-point all game. Boston racked up 28 assists on 41 baskets. All five players touched the ball on this play, and the ball hit the paint twice:

2. Here’s another piece of good ball movement. And, once again, the ball hit the paint first before an extra pass for the open three-pointer:

3. Dennis Schroder followed up a strong game against the Los Angeles Lakers with another big effort against another one of his former teams. Schroder finished with 29 points and six assists. He did a nice job finding Grant Williams for jumpers. This is a nice little pick-and-pop play off a double-screen:

This is classic point guard stuff here. Schroder draws the defense on the drive and finds Williams in the corner:

4. Dennis Schroder also got it done as a scorer. Al Horford does a good job pushing the ball in transition. Schroder acts as a trailer and goes right into the quick pullup after getting the ball. This is the sort of quick-attacking play where Schroder excels:

Late in the game, with OKC hanging around, Schroder came up with this strong finish through contact from Lu Dort at the rim:

5. Marcus Smart continued his run of strong games, as he finished with eight assists. This was a beautiful find to Jayson Tatum on the backdoor cut for the and-1 chance:

This was a really good drive and kick by Smart. He’s gotten a lot done over the last two weeks by attacking the basket with regularity. That’s resulted in Smart scoring himself or finding open teammates like this:

6. Brad Stevens was an ATO master. Ime Udoka hasn’t had the same impact. At least not yet. But there are signs the Celtics are figuring out these key scoring opportunities. This was a good set to free up Jayson Tatum. It’s a delayed screen from Enes Kanter, and he gets Tatum free:

7. Speaking of Enes Kanter, he had his best game of the season. Kanter came off the bench to record the double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Not every matchup is ideal for the big man, especially with Boston being a switch-heavy defense. But Kanter has shown this week that there are still spots for him to contribute.

8. Marcus Smart Cobra Strike for the deflection. Then Smart’s on the floor for the steal, which results in Al Horford finding Jayson Tatum for the dunk. Give Smart a Tommy Point here!

9. Jayson Tatum had his third straight game with at least 30 points. Later in this one, he became a playmaker for others too. Overall, Tatum finished with five assists. This was a gorgeous find to Marcus Smart for a layup:

Then late in the game this was a great drive-and-dish to Al Horford for another layup:

10. The Celtics are over .500! While that’s not really cause for celebration, it’s a hump they’ve failed to get over until now. Boston welcomes to the Houston Rockets to town on Monday night. That’s another game the Celtics should win.

The defense is pretty locked in, and the offense is finding their stride. Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams seem right around the corner. It’s time for Boston to go on a run before an early-December west coast trip that features several difficult games.

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