The Celtics remained the one undefeated staff within the NBA on Saturday, holding off a scrappy Nets staff in a 124-114 victory.
Listed below are the takeaways.
1. After back-to-back blow-out victories through which the starters sat the complete fourth quarter, the Celtics received on an odd night through which the Nets by no means led after a Jayson Tatum 3-pointer with 8:13 remaining within the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, Brooklyn saved a stranglehold on the Celtics’ rear bumper all through the night and refused to go away regardless of quite a few alternatives to take action which was doubly spectacular because the Nets have been on the second night time of a back-to-back and returned to Brooklyn in a single day after narrowly defeating the Bulls on Friday.
The Nets — even with out Ben Simmons and Cameron Johnson — have been considerably stiffer competitors than both the Pacers sans Tyrese Haliburton or the full-strength Wizards. Cam Thomas gave the Celtics matches (27 factors, 11-for-24 capturing). Mikal Bridges received scorching late to maintain them inside putting distance. Spencer Dinwiddie recorded a balanced 19-6-6 stat line. Dennis Smith Jr. is an efficient defender.
The Celtics floor out a street victory in opposition to an honest staff on an evening once they weren’t their greatest. That’s a stable end result.
2. Jayson Tatum — who completed with 32 factors — scored his 10,000th profession level within the second quarter on a genuinely nasty and-one. After a bounce ball, Tatum discovered himself matched up with Thomas, and he turned his again to publish up the smaller guard. On the precise second when Smith Jr. tried to lunge and poke the ball away, Tatum anticipated and spun towards the lane. Thomas pulled his arms again, however Day’Ron Sharpe fouled Tatum as he tossed in a layup.
A lot has been fabricated from Tatum’s post-ups with good cause — he’s recording extremely environment friendly numbers out of the publish, and the seems add a enjoyable new wrinkle to his offense. However the greater story is how Tatum has embraced bodily basketball, and the way in which his finesse experience and more and more robust physique mix to make him a monstrous offensive participant.
Tatum turned the youngest Celtic in historical past to attain 10,000 factors. It won’t be the final milestone he reaches in a Celtics uniform by an extended shot.
3. Derrick White was out for private causes, which have been likely the beginning of his second little one. The one different recreation White missed throughout his Celtics tenure was as a result of beginning of his first little one Hendrix.
White’s priorities and his sturdiness are each enormously admirable.
4. Jrue Vacation takes the occasional questionable 3-pointer, and he completed with three turnovers on Saturday. However he was wonderful as soon as once more, developing only one rebound in need of a triple-double with 18 factors, 9 rebounds and 10 assists. His fast set off from behind the arc may also be extremely beneficial — defenses have to stay trustworthy and connected to him. On Saturday, he completed 4-for-9 — 44.4 % from deep. That’s a punishing proportion on a staff with Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis.
5. Luke Kornet had his greatest recreation of the season to date. Within the second quarter, he scored a few baskets in a row when the Celtics’ offense was floundering a bit (Kornet’s back-to-back baskets trimmed a five-point result in one and set the stage for the aforementioned Tatum triple that gave the Celtics a lead they by no means relinquished).
Within the third quarter, Kornet completed off a pick-and-roll layup and a lob dunk, and he pulled down a few good rebounds. Then within the fourth, Kornet scored a vital and-one.
Towards a small Nets staff, Kornet performed a vital function and harm them for the eye they paid elsewhere. He completed with 11 factors on 5-for-5 capturing and 7 rebounds, reminding observers why the Celtics made a variety of noise throughout the preseason about being excessive on him.
6. Porzingis quietly had a pleasant night — 8-for-10 from the sector and 1-for-2 from 3-point vary en path to 22 factors to go together with seven rebounds and three blocked photographs. Curiously, he did fairly properly on the perimeter contesting shooters, after the Celtics performed him primarily in drop pick-and-roll coverages over the primary 4 video games.
On a extra primary stage, Porzingis additionally continued to punish smaller defenders within the paint, and his one 3-pointer got here from simply in entrance of the Nets’ half-court emblem. The person is superb.
7. In a continuation of final 12 months’s pattern, the Nets went at Sam Hauser in pick-and-rolls at any time when he was within the recreation. The Celtics have been largely content material to let Hauser swap onto the likes of Cam Thomas and Spencer Dinwiddie, and he defended them credibly, though they scored a number of baskets over him.
In some unspecified time in the future, Hauser would possibly make an All-Protection staff just because he’s getting so many high-level isolation defensive reps. Apply makes excellent.
8. We nonetheless aren’t totally sure how Jacque Vaughn averted getting tossed within the fourth after this layup by Tatum.
Vaughn was livid Tatum wasn’t whistled for a push off, and he received immediately within the face of official Natalie Sago. After she whistled him for a well-earned technical, Vaughn continued to vociferously make his case at point-blank vary, refusing to again off in any respect.
Credit score to Sago for holding a cool head, however Vaughn needed to be on the verge.
9. Al Horford’s stat line received’t bounce off the web page (eight factors, seven rebounds, three assists in starters minutes with White out), however his sky-high plus/minus (+29) passes the attention take a look at with flying colours. He additionally made three large performs within the fourth quarter — first hustling again to safe a clutch steal earlier than scoring a troublesome transition layup and mashing house an alley-oop that felt roughly just like the dagger.
Horford picked up a technical for hanging on the rim on the dagger alley-oop, which appeared profoundly unfair. Leaping is difficult on the knees. Let the 37-year-old collect his legs and land softly.
10. The Celtics appear to be a powerhouse. They’ll put their undefeated document on the road in opposition to the Timberwolves on the street Monday. Once they return to TD Backyard on Friday, they may tackle the Nets once more of their first in-season match recreation.
Join Celtics updates🏀
Get breaking information and evaluation delivered to your inbox throughout basketball season.