A year and a day ago, the Boston Celtics earned a 122-92 win over the Miami Heat, stringing two wins together for a, well, modest win streak and bringing their record to 27-25. Up to that point, they had only won three games in a row twice. It was that night a movement was born.
“The energy is about to shift,” Jaylen Brown tweeted.
The energy is about to shift— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) January 31, 2022
At the time, trade deadline speculation ran wild, and no one knew exactly what Brown was talking about. But after extending their lowly two-game win streak to nine, soaring up the standings to the two seed, and making an incredible run to the NBA Finals, his words became a slogan for Celtics fans to champion.
Fast forward to the present day. The Celtics earned yet another blowout win, this time over the Brooklyn Nets by a score of 139-96. Instead of worrying about staying above .500, they are 10 wins better at 37-15. And what did Brown tweet after the game?
Energy shifter— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) February 2, 2023
Most Celtics fans would claim that the energy has alreadly shifted. From the ashes of a skidding team surrounded by trade rumors and drama rose the best squad in the NBA. But the Celtics’ job isn’t done just yet.
Despite their miraculous march to the Finals, Boston fell short when it mattered most. The Golden State Warriors walked away with their fourth title in eight years, and the Celtics were forced to watch their opponent celebrate on the parquet.
“It’s clear as day that they want to win the championship, and they’re not wasting any time in the regular season,” said former Celtic and current Nets guard Kyrie Irving via Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. “So tonight, I just felt like we were just one of those teams in the way. We’ve got to be one of those teams that stands up to them.”
Following a three-game losing streak and a (fortunate) overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers in which the Celtics struggled mightily, Boston had a three-day break and it showed Wednesday night.
Boston jumped off to a hot start, scoring 46 points in the first quarter and holding the Nets to 16. And while their record-setting 30-point lead after one quarter was incredible, they were just getting started. By the end of the game, the lead had ballooned to 43 points, peaking at a 49-point advantage midway through the final frame.
Jayson Tatum put up 31 points in just over 29 minutes, Brown dropped 26 points in just under 32 minutes, and four other Celtics chipped in with double-digit performances. On the night, Boston shot 57.6% from the field and 48.1% from distance, nailing 26 of their 54 attempts from behind the arc and setting a record for most three-point makes in a home game in franchise history.
The Celtics are firmly on the right track and miles ahead of where they were at this point last season. But despite the improvements, there’s still work to be done. The energy isn’t done shifting quite yet.
“It’s still shifting,” Brown told Abby Chin of NBC Sports Boston after the game. “We still got work to do. But one year later, we’ve been able to turn this organization around, win a lot of games, and get back to the Finals. Let’s keep it going so we can get back and finish the job.”