As Cedric Maxell once uttered after the Boston Celtics’ Eastern Conference Finals victory over the Miami Heat in 2022, “How ‘bout them Celtics!”
This tri-weekly column will be coming at you in tandem with the full-length podcast of the same name, which releases at 5:00 am EST every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday morning.
CelticsBlog’s Sam LaFrance and Jack Simone will each select a topic discussed on that day’s episode to dive a bit deeper into.
(Side note: Tri-weekly does, in fact, mean three times a week AND/OR every three weeks. This was a topic of conversation when discussing the outline of this column. A Google search confirmed the suspicion of a dual definition.)
Sam’s Pick: No one asked for these hideous new NBA In-Season Tournament courts
Unfortunately, the NBA unveiled all 30 of the new alternate courts for the new In-Season Tournament. If you haven’t already seen them, consider yourself lucky because they are AWFUL.
If you’ve ever wondered what the NBA’s favorite color is, it’s gray — tons and tons of gray.
This truthfully feels like a major project that the league asked an understaffed team to handle. The entire “City Edition Uniform” campaign can be looped into this, too. Many of the designs don’t go along with each team’s brand, and it just looks weird.
For example, the San Antonio Spurs will be playing on a green and gold court as if they’re the Seattle SuperSonics.
Not to mention that the league justified the decision to assign all these teams the alternate court designs by essentially calling its fans the dumbest of the dumb.
In a statement, the NBA explained that the goal is to have viewers realize that they are watching a special game — as if a giant trophy painted at mid-court wouldn’t be able to do the trick alone.
“The courts, which will be used for Group Play and the Quarterfinals, showcase a bold and distinctive design scheme league-wide, making it instantly clear to fans when a game carries NBA In-Season Tournament implications,” the NBA’s statement read. “The unified look represents the first time that the league has implemented an alternate court for all 30 teams and the first time that any NBA team has played on a fully painted court with no woodgrain details.”
Jack’s Pick: Celtics good, Wizards bad
When looking back at Celtics games, there’s normally an attempt at some sort of analysis, some semblance of a reasonable reaction. This game left room for none of that.
The majority of the conversation surrounding the Celtics’ game against the Wizards should be as simple as the subheading of this section.
From the jump, Boston’s talent completely overwhelmed the rebuilding Wizards. It looked like the freshman team practicing against varsity. Kyle Kuzma was the only guy close to making JV, and even he couldn’t come close to affecting the outcome of the game.
This is the sort of game that makes you sit back and wonder: “Wow, are the Celtics so talented that they could cakewalk to the one-seed?” Even through the first couple of games, when the Celtics’ passing wasn’t ideal, they were still getting by on sheer talent alone. And against the lowly Wizards, the effect was multiplied.
All that said, a few niche things stood out in the Celtics’ win over the Wizards: Derrick White’s beautiful entry passes, Sam Hauser’s quietly solid defense and rebounding, and Lamar Stevens breaking Washington’s zone in garbage time (something last year’s Celtics failed to do time and time again).
Those were just a few of the main talking points from Tuesday’s podcast. Also featured were Al Horford’s thoughts on coming off of Boston’s bench, Damian Lillard’s rough showing against the Atlanta Hawks, and the famous “Rat List.”
Watch the full pod here or listen below: