Perhaps the Celtics Biggest Win Of The Season Is Being Overblown
The Celtics beat the Bucks on Wednesday night in a come from behind victory. Down by as many as 19 in the first half, many people may have switched over to Game 7 of the World Series. For those that didn’t the Celtics had quite a comeback led by Marcus Smart who started in place of Jaylen Brown due to sickness. Smart made the most of his opportunity going 7-16 from the field and 5-11 from the three-point line. Before we start getting the duck boats ready, Celtics fans may need to take a step back.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, off his worst game of the season so far (14 pts vs. Cle) had 22 points on 8-13 shooting. For the C’s defending the Greek Freak is a top priority but the Celtics switched numerous times on defense especially in the second half. Daniel Theis was on Giannis in the paint, but around the perimeter and off of rebounds, it was Marcus Smart including a near altercation between the two.
It has been brought up to me by some of the Celtics “haters” that the C’s have had terrible first halves. The last two games now, the Celtics have turned their defense into offense. Kemba Walker pointed out that eventually, the shots will eventually fall.
“When you work so hard in the summer on some shots and you miss them, routine shots early it frustrates you. You have to understand you have to stay in the game, those shots are going to come for us. We’re going to find rhythm at some point, but it takes time. We have to stay together and let our defense dictate our offense, and that’s what we did. Whenever we got stops we got the rebound we pushed the basketball and made the right play. You know we have a bunch of unselfish guys and it was an unbelievable comeback.”
Kemba Walker had 32 points, 14 from the free throw line, but the play of Jayson Tatum really stuck out and even impressed Paul Pierce who was sitting courtside. During the young season, Jayson Tatum has averaged 21.5 ppg but some of his play makes you want to throw your remote through your television. Both on defense or offense, Tatum has tried to do so much. One play in particular saw Tatum take Giannis from the nearside and go baseline to the basket looking for a highlight reel play. Instead, he lost the ball out of bounds.
The game against the Bucks should be thought of as a measuring stick game. Many people are saying that Philadelphia and Milwaukee are the top of the East, but the Celtics have proven that they belong in the conversation. What we’ve seen in the past is the Celtics after a big win can have a letdown performance so if the C’s can string some wins together, then and only then can the C’s be considered to be in the conversation of the top of the class in the east.
The Celtics have some big matchups coming up: 11/7 @ Charlotte (Kemba’s 1st game in Charlotte), 11/9 @ San Antonio, 11/11 vs. Dallas and 11/13 vs. Washington. The game against Milwaukee wasn’t their biggest win of the season but this was a team building win which, after the Kyrie era is what the Celtics need.