December 4, 2023


The Celtics’ offense is completely buzzing.

Boston Celtics ahead Jayson Tatum seems to be to cross whereas pressured by Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield. AP Picture/Charles Krupa


The Celtics decimated the Pacers on Wednesday, pulling away early and by no means giving a centimeter en path to a 155-101 victory.

Listed here are the takeaways.

1. This was the Celtics’ second straight huge victory over an undermanned, mediocre opponent after they blasted the Wizards on Monday. The Pacers had been with out Tyrese Haliburton, which actually performed a task.

However for the second sport in a row, the Celtics simply seemed like they had been in a distinct league than their opponent. Jayson Tatum scored 30 factors and made it look simple. Derrick White and Jrue Vacation scored 18 and 15 factors respectively, and each missed simply three photographs. Kristaps Porzingis took simply seven photographs and was +27 in his minutes.

The Celtics are a lot better than unhealthy groups. Admittedly, final 12 months’s crew began scorching and cooled off a bit, however final 12 months’s crew didn’t have 4 All-Star caliber starters and two potential All-Defensive choices on the two guards positions. Unhealthy groups can decide up wins towards good groups once they can get scorching and conceal their flaws, and the Celtics aren’t immune from an opposing crew getting scorching, however hiding your flaws is fairly laborious towards this group.

2. The Celtics recorded their third-biggest win since 2000. Their second-biggest win was a 53-point blowout towards the Kings final 12 months. Their largest? A 58-point beatdown towards the Bulls in 2018.

After dropping 44 factors within the first quarter, the Celtics had been as much as 75 by halftime. If they’d gone scoreless within the fourth quarter, they nonetheless would have received by 9. As a substitute, their bench put collectively the most important quarter of the sport with 46 and received by 51.

3. At a sure level in a blowout, you cease watching the basketball fairly so intently and also you begin waiting for statistical oddities.

For NBC Sports activities Boston’s Brian Scalabrine, the oddity was the variety of gamers who dropped double figures. Every of the starters made it comfortably. Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard tacked on two extra. Lastly, late within the fourth quarter, Dalano Banton made a pair of free throws to deliver the Celtics’ whole to eight. It’s laborious to think about a crew shedding a sport when eight gamers rating in double figures.

On our finish, the eccentricities included whether or not they might attain 75 within the first half and 150 whole (they might, they usually might), whether or not Hauser would miss a 3-pointer (he did, finally) and whether or not Jayson Tatum would get to 30 (he did).

4. From an eye-test perspective, Derrick White seems to be extra snug proper now than he has at some other level in a Celtics uniform (and perhaps in an NBA uniform). On Wednesday, he shot 7-for-10 from the sector, dropping 18 hyper-efficient factors, and he dished out 4 assists.

In San Antonio, White’s 3-point proportion was all the time decrease than you’ll assume if you watched him shoot, and the Celtics’ concept in buying him was that enjoying subsequent to Tatum and Brown would assist.

It actually has. On Wednesday, he buried 4 3-pointers (three within the first quarter because the Celtics constructed their large lead), and three of them had been pull-ups. He seems to be extremely snug as a shooter, which — as soon as once more — hammers residence the apparent query: How on earth are you speculated to cease this Celtics crew?

5. Jrue Vacation began the sport with a publish up and knocked down two 3-pointers within the first quarter, and for a second, it seemed like we’d get his first large offensive sport in a Celtics uniform.

As a substitute, Vacation settled for 15 environment friendly factors and a few quarter-hour of relaxation to finish the sport.

“First play of the sport was for me, and I had a publish up,” Vacation instructed reporters after the sport. “I might’ve discovered somebody. However with the expertise that now we have, who’re you going to protect? …

“We’ve acquired every little thing, proper? We’re within the paint, now we have the mid-range, and now we have the three. I really feel like that risk makes us even more durable to protect. … I really feel like now we have a number of bases lined.”

6. After a shaky fourth quarter towards the Wizards, the Celtics’ bench was a lot better towards the Pacers. The top of the snake was Pritchard, who scored 15 factors and led the crew with 9 assists — a pleasant bounce-back after a extremely poor efficiency. However everybody else seemed good as nicely — Hauser caught fireplace after a gradual begin to the 12 months, Oshae Brissett and Lamar Stevens performed laborious, and Dalano Banton completed some artful baskets across the hoop.

One intriguing distinction: With the sport in hand, Joe Mazzulla staggered the exit of the celebrities within the third quarter reasonably than having them exit en masse to begin the fourth like he did towards the Wizards. That appeared to assist the Celtics’ bench unit acquire a consolation stage earlier than they needed to carry the sport residence on their very own.

7. Aaron Nesmith nonetheless performs extremely laborious in ways in which make you are concerned about his normal well being and well-being. However he appears to have caught on with the Pacers — Rick Carlisle praised him earlier than the sport — which is sweet for a participant who didn’t land in a fantastic player-development state of affairs when he was drafted by the Celtics.

8. The wildest factor about watching Wednesday’s sport was that the Pacers genuinely tried for a lot of the sport. The Celtics performed nicely, however the expertise hole was simply monumental. The Pacers might do nothing about Brown when he minimize with Porzingis diming him from the highest of the important thing. They may do nothing about Hauser floating to open area. They may do nothing about White pulling up from deep. They may do nothing about Tatum (full cease).

The Celtics are buzzing. They are going to look to proceed their early-season run towards the Nets on Saturday at 8 p.m.