It’s been a tough week for the Cs. From a depleted roster to coming up short in closing out ball games, the Celtics badly needed this one to go their way.
Luckily, the basketball gods rewarded their resilient effort in storming that late come back to fruition.
Let’s get to it.
To start things off, the offense was yet again abysmal. The Boston Celtics shot for only 46.4% from the field and 32.5% from deep. They only had a total of 18 assists opposed to the Lakers’ 30. In the first half, the Cs only had 7 assists as the ball movement was stagnant for almost the whole duration of the game. Sure, there were moments wherein the ball movement was popping especially to start the second quarter wherein each player knew immediately what they wanted to do once in possession of the ball.
But to have your playmakers in Brogdon and White with only 6 assists combined is not going to cut it as those two need to deliver the goods when it comes to making things easier for the Jays and the overall offense of the team.
This then leads to the Jays struggling miserably in shooting the rock during the first half:
Jayson Tatum - 8 points on 22.2% shooting from the field and 0/4 shooting from deep, while also being a -7 on the court
Jaylen Brown - 13 points on 41.7% shooting from the field and 16.7% from deep, while being a -10 on the court
Seeing those numbers makes me appreciate even more what Smart does for that duo in finding them at their spots and being able to set them up nicely for good looks to get their shots off.
As the first half wrapped up, I tweeted that the Jays needed to be better as with or without Marcus, they had to find a way to grind out a win as they are recognized as one of the best duos in the league. They needed to play like one, which the Jays obviously delivered.
Second Half Stats:
Jayson Tatum - 17 points on 33.3% shooting from the field and 50% shooting from deep, while being a +6 on the court
Jaylen Brown - 13 points on 71.4% shooting from the field, and being a +8 on the court
JT started things off in the third quarter by hitting two straight three-balls with one being a staredown triple over Lebron James which is always sweet to see from Tatum. He also makes a tough catch at 3:05 by cutting to the basket off a screen and makes a gorgeous reverse layup to finish the play.
Tatum was also a monster at the boards as he racked up 11 boards for the game. Even when he found the touch in the third quarter, JT was making an impact in securing rebounds throughout the whole game, yet again making an impact when shots aren’t falling.
This was also another game wherein Tatum was on the floor for the whole second half, along with overtime minutes. It also explains why he looked exhausted in the fourth.
Enter Jaylen Brown, as he explodes during crunch time and in overtime for a total of 20 points as he was also responsible for sending the game to OT by grabbing the offensive board and finishing the and1 bucket. Just like what Tatum said after the Knicks' loss, JB would knock down those same missed free throws if placed in the same situation again.
JB delivered big time as he went berserk in overtime for an electric 75% shooting from the field and 50% from deep.
Speaking of delivering the goods when it matters most, Brogdon and DWhite were huge in the second half as they hit big-time shots to keep the team in the game as they were grinding their way to a comeback.
Malcolm Brogdon - 15 points on 50% shooting from the field and from deep
Derrick White - 7 points on 66.7% shooting from the field and 50% from deep
Even when they somewhat came up short in the playmaking area, they more than delivered in giving the team a scoring punch in the second unit.
I also found it interesting that Joe had Brogdon on Davis in numerous possessions, as the Lakers experienced trouble in getting AD the ball in the post, and whenever they did get him the ball someone from the Cs would immediately double AD to force him in giving up the ball.
In a laughable effort on defense from the Cs starting in the first quarter up until the third, they sure made up for that lackluster effort as they relied on making continuous stops til they were able to tie the ball game up.
Their fourth-quarter defense was stellar as they held the Lakers to 38.1% shooting from the field and 36.4% from deep. The contests were sharper as they moved into position quicker, along with having more communication as they set their defense per possession.
I did however not like the ball watching as Beverly skyrocketed to the rim for the putback hammer. Imagine losing to that kind of play from Beverly. Demoralizing.
And now for the elephant in the room. The missed call on Lebron’s layup as he was fouled on the shot by Tatum.
Combined that with the rest of what I just mentioned throughout this blog. Everyone that had a hand in making this win possible had their rough moments throughout the game. But the team persevered, refused to stay down when the chips when they struggled in finding any sort of rhythm, and coupled with the fact that they are on a 3-game losing streak entering this match-up.
I guess you could say that the team did enough in finding a way in securing an ugly win that a late no-call from the referees went in their favor as the Cs snap their losing streak.
What’s funny is that when you watch the replay, everyone is so focused on the missed call as seen by Lebron’s furious reaction, that LBJ committed three steps before he got fouled on the play.
My two cents? Yes, the Cs need to play better as they maneuver their way in games without Marcus Smart. But for the Jays and the rest of the team to succeed in that challenge during this ball game, will go a long way in the playoff environment wherein beautiful basketball won’t always be there.
Don’t forget to give JB his flowers as he said that he’d bounce back as he considers himself a better player than the one we saw against the Knicks. Played like one and made up for that stinker as he got his haters all quiet about it too as the cherry on top.
Malcolm was also big-time in this game as he too made amends for a lowly outing in their previous game.
Now please go on another win streak.