By Paul Liacos December 7, 2018
Last night in the TD Garden we saw the Celtics avenge their Thanksgiving Eve blow out lost to the lowly New York Knicks and are starting to live up to their hype as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. There was still much to be desired on the defensive end but luckily for the Celtics faithful it looks like the offense has taken a turn with this team averaging 124.5 points over this four-game win streak. A significant jump from the stagnant offense we had been seeing from this talented unit.
The Celtics had a remarkable 7 players score double figures last night and if that is something we can get used to out of this team it certainly brings cause to start getting excited. I mean that’s really what we had expected out of this team, that there were 7-8 players that could go off for 20 points at any given time and pick up the scoring when Kyrie or Tatum simply weren’t playing their best on a given night.
Jaylen Brown had a big performance in his first night back from injury last night, going for 21 pts on 7-10 shooting in just 25 mins off the bench. Brown played the type of game we have been begging to see from him, with consistent drives to the hoop instead of settling for shots outside. It’s almost like he has started to realize that he is one of the most athletic players in the NBA and can get to the paint whenever he chooses. Celtics fans have been clamoring for that type of play from him and it was a very welcome site to see especially coming off an injury.
Al Horford had one of his better games of the season going for 19 pts and 12 Reb. He consistently rolling to the basket off screens for easy buckets and was another encouraging site to see. If you think back on the success this team has had over the past couple seasons, it almost always has been when Big Al is scoring and playing well. He is the catalyst that makes this team go and when the ball is consistently moving through him the spacing on offense is much improved. As much as we love seeing Kyrie do what he does, Horford may be even more important to the long-term success of this team.
Speaking of Kyrie, him and Tatum did their things last night and played well, going for 22 and 17 pts respectively. But I’d like to talk about Gordon Hayward continue to improve. He only scored 8 pts last night on 2-6 shooting, but it is very clear he is starting to move sooooo much better out there on the floor. It looks like slowly but surely, he is getting back to full strength and is gaining his confidence back on their on the floor. He still looks a little hesitant at times when going to the basket, but I expect that to continue to change and look forward to seeing him continue at excelling at this role coming off the bench.
Celtics get another cupcake game against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, look for them to continue this trend of taking care of bad teams. It certainly looks to me that this team has taken a turn is well on their way to being a top team in the East as we all knew they could be.