We’re halfway through the home opener and the Boston Celtics have taken fans on a rollercoaster ride against the Miami Heat. They gave us all some PTSD to the Eastern Conference Finals last spring, but then flipped the game on its head in the second quarter to take a 60-55 lead into the break.
Get ready for some halftime hot takes, buddy.
The Heat might be a team to trot out the double bigs for
Boston’s first shot at revenge against the Heat got off to a bit of a slow start. Star center Bam Adebayo made his presence known early on, pouring in five quick points, and more importantly, drawing two quick fouls on Kristaps Porzingis.
BAM ADEBAYO BRINGS THE HAMMER— NBA (@NBA) October 27, 2023
Watch BOS/MIA LIVE on ESPN pic.twitter.com/MZ6RDos5EU
After the second foul, Joe Mazzulla made a quick substitution to get Al Horford into the game to provide the Latvian with some extra support.
The extra help might’ve helped the Cs get off to a better start, had it been there from the get-go.
Nonetheless, Adebayo finished the half with 15 points and five rebounds for Miami, and looked like the best player on the floor for a few stretches.
Oshae Brissett has arrived
Oshae Brissett made his Celtics debut tonight after sitting out all of Wednesday’s season opener in New York — and boy did he make an impact. Boston was absolutely reeling until the former Syracuse star checked into the game, trailing the Heat by 13 points.
Fueled by Brissett’s grit and hustle, the Cs battled back and cut the lead to just three at the end of the first quarter. He was all over the offensive glass and even threw down a super-cool dunk.
Boston’s new No. 12 tallied two points in three rebounds in his first seven minutes as a Celtic.
The Celtics’ in-arena presentation has fallen off a cliff
This is very much a “me thing” but man has the in-arena presentation taken a step back. The new sound effects behind the defense and “Let’s go Celtics” chants are just plain weird with unnecessary beats playing in the background and messing with the energy.
Not to mention the pregame hype video centered around... a pyramid???
Listen, I get it. You can’t always touch the sun like they did in 2008, but with a roster as strong as this one, the Celtics just simply have to be better.
At least they didn’t have the guys stand next to a bunch of Larry O’Brien trophies that they haven’t won — like they did last season.
The quick-trigger threes are not it
Boston knocked down just eight of their 21 attempts from beyond the arc in the first half against Miami (could’ve been worse for sure). Now, there’s not a huge issue with the “shot more threes” mindset — as long as the threes are good attempts.
So far, it seems like just about all of the attempts from distance came early in the shot clock. It’s just lazy basketball. The ball needs to move more before the Celtics fire up a three, it just does. The best looks tend to come at the end of a great series of passes and cuts, not sidestep dribbles.
Here’s to hoping that the ball movement and chemistry improve as the season rolls along.
This team has some guts
I was ready to turn my TV off after the first five minutes of this one (not really, turning games off early is dishonorable). Miami was in complete control and getting just about anything they wanted. Meanwhile, the Cs couldn’t buy a basket and were watching layup-after-layup roll off of the rim.
The aforementioned inspired stint from Brissett shifted the energy for Boston, who stormed back to take a lead before the break despite falling way behind early on. Miami is a well-coached team under Erik Spoelstra, so it makes it even more impressive that the Cs were seemingly able to flip a switch.
Also, a shoutout to Jaylen Brown for helping spearhead this turnaround with 13 first-half points. The man was on the rotisserie on Wednesday after he struggled in the opener and has responded in a big way tonight.
Let us know what your biggest hot take from the first half is below in the replies!