The Clover Report: Week Twenty-Three
The Celtics have been on the back burner this week, mainly because of March Madness.
But the other reason that the Celtics lack some buzz is because it appears that their fate is sealed for the rest of the year. As of today, the Celtics are 4.5 games behind the Raptors for the number one seed and are 6 games ahead of the Cavaliers for the second seed. So they’re pretty much locked in to the number 2 seed. Considering that Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart will all be out for a majority of the remaining regular season; it doesn’t make sense to push for the number one seed.
With that out of the way, let’s get The Clover Report going
The Celtics started off in Orlando to face the Magic. Despite their injuries, the Celtics were in control for most of the game and won 92—83. Terry Rozier and Greg Monroe both led the way for Boston as they both scored 17 points. Abdel Nader and Shane Larkin both stepped as well as they combined 21 points off of the bench. Next up, the Celtics traveled to New Orleans to take on Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Celtics were leading in the 1st half but Davis and the Pelicans took over in the 2nd. They won going away 108—89 as Davis scored 34 points. Jayson Tatum led the way for Boston as he finished with 23 points.
After finishing up the road trip, the Celtics traveled back home to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This was by far the game of the week and one of the games of the year. With Irving, Brown, and Smart still all out; the Celtics were undermanned going up against the reigning MVP in Russell Westbrook. It was a back and forth game and the Thunder had a 6 point lead with 20 seconds to go. But after a Rozier 3, Carmelo Anthony missing 2 free throws, and Marcus Morris hitting a 3 with 2 seconds to go; the Celtics pulled it out 100—99. Tatum arguably had his best game as a Celtic as he finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. Marcus Morris also had a big game with 21 points and of course the game winning shot. If any good can come out of the final 3 weeks of the regular season, it’s that the role players continue to get expanded playing time before the playoffs begin.
Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)