Jayson Tatum shakes off the rust
Tatum, the straw that stirs Boston’s offense, has been in a mini-slump as of late. He’s shot 6-for-34 from the field over the last two games. However, the franchise cornerstone has seemingly regained his scoring mojo. Tatum dropped a quick nine points in the first quarter — three of his first four attempts found the bottom of the net. Over the opening six minutes and change tonight, he tallied half of his combined field goals against the Bulls and Suns earlier this week. Wow. Tatum entered the locker room with 17 points, including four three-pointers.
Tristan Thompson is a warrior
Boston’s rebounding machine has upped his level of play since returning from health and safety protocols earlier this month. Thompson is facing off against DeAndre Jordan, an old-school brawny center who’s an adept board-snatcher himself. However, it is safe to say that the Celtic big man has won the head-to-head battle at the end of two quarters. Thompson hustled and muscled his way into three offensive boards and created an extra possession by drawing an over-the-back foul.
Additionally, the Canadian contributed to the points department with eight. After getting swatted by Jordan on consecutive layups early, Thompson converted three of his last five in-close shots before halftime. Thompson is a winning player with a winning mentality. His presence both on and off the court will come in handy for the Celtics once the postseason commences.
Enough with the turnovers
After commiting 23 blunders in their win over the Phoenix Suns last night, the Celtics followed up this sloppy performance with a nine-turnover first half against the Nets. These turnovers have parlayed into 10 points for Brooklyn, nearly the discrepancy on the scoreboard. It is pivotal that the Celtics nip this issue in the bud before postseason play. Each possession is magnified in the playoffs when games are often decided by so few, and baskets are harder to come by. Taking care of the ball is of particular importance for the bench unit, which lacks scoring firepower even when they’re not coughing up the rock.