May 18, 2024

Celtics

The Celtics bounced again with a pleasant win to start out their in-season event motion.

Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown chases the ball forward of Brooklyn Nets’ Royce O’Neale. AP Photograph/Michael Dwyer

The Celtics bounced again after consecutive losses with a snug 121-107 win over the Nets on Friday.

Listed here are the takeaways.

1. So that is the in-season event!

Frankly, Friday’s recreation felt loads like a regular-season contest (presumably partly as a result of it was a regular-season contest) as soon as you bought used to the darkish inexperienced court docket and the clear new jerseys. The Nets had been comparatively aggressive on condition that Ben Simmons and Cam Thomas had been each out, however the recreation wasn’t notably extra chippy or bodily.

Nonetheless, you’ll be able to rapidly see why this can be a fairly good concept. Gamers are clearly way more centered on the top of the season (Al Horford sat out the debut for “damage administration”), however giving a regular-season recreation some additional stakes provides slightly one thing and subtracts nothing, even when gamers aren’t throwing themselves round as if it’s Sport 7. When the knock-out rounds arrive, the stakes would possibly really feel slightly increased to gamers, however even when they don’t, they could really feel increased for followers.

The event even added slightly bit of additional juice on the finish, since level differential might come into play as a tie-breaker if data get tight (a 14-point win isn’t a foul begin).

This may very well be enjoyable.

2. Jaylen Brown caught fireplace within the first quarter and poured in 21 of his 28 factors within the first half. He was integral because the Celtics constructed a double-digit lead, each flattening triples and attending to the rim.

Brown cooled off a bit within the second half, however the harm was performed for the Nets, who by no means actually challenged within the third and fourth quarters. After a tricky stretch to start out the yr, Brown’s 5-for-9 efficiency from deep is a reminder that there can be some good performances that elevate him again as much as the imply, which ought to pleasing for Celtics followers.

3. Payton Pritchard has struggled to search out the vary from behind the arc to this point, however he knocked down a pair within the first half.

He additionally made an influence by snagging 4 offensive rebounds, together with a formidable pair within the second half. On the primary, Pritchard grabbed the board on his personal missed free throw and scored a layup (an egregious breakdown by the Nets). On the second, he shoveled the ball to Sam Hauser, who buried a triple.

The Celtics outscored the Nets 29-5 in second-chance factors, largely due to Pritchard and the following participant on this record.

4. With Horford out, Luke Kornet bought an early name after Kristaps Porzingis picked up two fouls on the identical possession within the first quarter. After struggling initially, Kornet pieced collectively maybe his finest recreation of the season with seven factors, 9 rebounds (six of which had been offensive) and a blocked shot.

Kornet additionally fired off a beautiful no-look help to Pritchard and caught this lob from Derrick White.

Not a foul evening for Kornet in a nationally televised setting. Having the ability to purchase Horford or Porzingis break day after they want it by being an efficient third large off the bench can be an infinite contribution this season.

5. Jayson Tatum had a bizarre recreation, nevertheless it was greater than sufficient. Within the first and third quarters, Tatum went scoreless as his teammates bought themselves going. Within the second and fourth quarters, Tatum scored 13 and 10 factors respectively.

The Celtics would love a few baskets from Tatum within the first and third after all. Nonetheless, when he can elevate the second unit with a dominant efficiency firstly of the second interval, opposing defenses appear to wilt slightly bit, particularly after coping with a beginning unit that has seemingly no finish of buckets with or with out large contributions from Tatum.

6. This most likely doesn’t imply a lot, however it’s fairly attention-grabbing (even when the “each Celtics residence recreation” pattern dimension is simply three to this point).

7. Vacation completed only one help wanting a triple-double with 13 factors, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. He and Tatum had been +26 and +28 respectively.

On a much less necessary (however mildly humorous) notice, the colours on the Celtics’ new jerseys are so paying homage to the Bucks’ “Cream City” jerseys, Vacation appeared like he by no means left.

8. Sam Hauser continued to knock down 3-pointers at a excessive fee — he completed 5-for-10 with 15 factors. His means to drift to open area was on full show, and the Nets may need hung powerful longer if he wasn’t there to area the ground. As soon as once more, when Hauser catches certainly one of his heaters, the Celtics generally tend to tug away. It’s laborious to maintain a finger on each leak when the offense is rolling.

9. Kristaps Porzingis picked up his fifth technical of the season, which places him on tempo for simply over 51 technicals. Presumably, that received’t occur, however gamers are suspended for one recreation after 16 technical fouls and for an additional recreation for each two subsequent technicals.

In different phrases, if this retains up, Porzingis goes to overlook loads of time. At finest, he seems like he can be feeling the crunch by the top of the common season.

10. The Celtics kicked off a three-game residence stand towards Atlantic Division opponents with their win Friday. On Saturday, they may host the Raptors, earlier than the Knicks arrive on Monday.

The subsequent in-season event showdown will happen at Toronto on Nov. 17, adopted by one other highway recreation towards the Magic on Nov. 24. Their closing recreation of group play is Nov. 28 towards the Bulls.