Despite having fewer players than the Nets on Thursday, the Celtics won 109-98.
The key points are listed here.
1. Despite the apparent qualification that the Nets were playing without Kevin Durant, the Celtics’ victory was outstanding (and will be for at least a couple of weeks as he deals with an MCL sprain).
Al Horford, as well as Jaylen Brown, was absent for the Celtics. After traveling from Boston to Brooklyn the previous night, they played their second straight game. This was their third game in four nights. Jayson Tatum shot 7 for 22 when front-ribbing the ball. The Celtics made only 33.3 percent of their 3-point attempts as a team. Even without Durant, the Nets have improved dramatically from last year; they are a more balanced team with many offensive options.
The Celtics won by multiple digits despite pulling away in the second half. Up and down the lineup, credit can be distributed. Tatum drew two defenders constantly throughout the game, and the Nets lack the top defensive players to double-team a club like the Celtics effectively. Six Celtics scored ten or more goals. The Celtics limited an opponent to fewer than 100 points for the third time in five games and for the second time this week.
The Celtics always manage to bounce back after a difficult period. Although their humiliating loss against the Thunder in a rout was unpleasant, the five straight victories after that have much lessened the embarrassment.
2. Tatum maybe most exhibit the negative impacts of the Celtics’ punishing schedule. Two of his three-point tries skidded high in the air and failed to touch the basket, seemingly unblocked. Reaching the hoop appeared to be complicated. He only attempted four free throws.
Tatum did make other contributions, though.
Tatum had five assists overall. According to Joe Mazzulla, Jaylen Brown would likely miss “a week or two” due to an adductor injury. In Brown’s absence, Tatum’s ability to punish opponents who double-team him with excellent passing will be crucial.
It could be appropriate for Tatum to take a break after Brown returns. He told the media that he had problems with his wrist and fingers.
Tatum said, “I’ve got a lot of s— going on.
3. Robert Williams started and played a season-high 29 minutes with Horford out. Williams looked firm and springy despite only having eight points and five rebounds, and his presence influenced whether or not he received the ball.
Really liked the patience Tatum showed here. He knew the matchup with Kyrie would eventually freak the Nets out enough to crack them defensively. Just had to wait for it. pic.twitter.com/nvCw3L2ZUc
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) January 13, 2023
According to Cleaning the Glass, the Celtics’ defensive rating has increased to fifth. Less than 100 points were scored in both of the games Robert Williams started this season. At the beginning of the season, when they were unstoppably hot from beyond the arc, the Celtics didn’t miss him, but having him now that they have cooled off is crucial.
4. The Celtics were able to construct the advantage that saw them through the fourth quarter with the aid of a lineup without Tatum, which comprised Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, Payton Pritchard, and Luke Kornet.
Tatum passed out toward the end of the third with the Celtics down 80-78. The bench went on an important 12-4 run during five minutes in the second quarter, scoring almost at will around the basket. White swatted away another block, Pritchard added four points, and Brogdon added six points, all of which came in the paint. The Celtics had an eight-point advantage when Tatum returned, quickly increasing to twelve points. The Nets never truly put up another strong effort.
5. White’s contribution to the Celtics can be challenging to pin down precisely, but his all-around game was fully displayed against the Nets. A spin block he made against T.J. Warren, against whom it appeared Robert Williams was guarding the rim, was one of his many outstanding defensive efforts.
White is a master at moving the ball and handling it offensively, and he made the game-winning 3-pointer in the corner.
With White on the floor, the Celtics are 8.0 points higher than their baseline defensively, which is their best on/off efficiency difference on Cleaning the Glass.
So maybe it’s not that difficult to quantify Derrick White after all. When he’s on the court, the Celtics are much more effective, which may help to explain why Joe Mazzulla didn’t want to change the starting lineup even after Williams’ comeback.
6. In the third quarter, referees missed a relatively straightforward goal-tending call, which the Nets took advantage of. Tatum drove to the basket with a six-point gift and threw a finger roll. The ball was definitely on its way down when Nic Claxton sent it flying.
Instead, a layup on the other end for the Nets led to a four-point swing and a 9-0 run for the team.
However, the Celtics were compensated by the game. Marcus Smart lobbed a ball to Luke Kornet with 7:14 left, and the Celtics avoided a foul on what was very indeed goaltending. Kornet awkwardly caught the ball while facing away from the basket (and probably above the cylinder).
DERRICK WHITE. 1st Team All-Defense. pic.twitter.com/N5hrjLXxTI
— Pull up shoot (@NElGHT_) January 13, 2023
Kornet, who has a great sense of humor, was aware that he got away with one.
Luke, don’t stress about it. The ball is known for being truthful.
7. Marcus Smart made two standout passes in the first quarter for your viewing pleasure.
In his first game back after sustaining a knee contusion against the Bulls on Monday, Smart ended with a team-high 10 assists.
8. It’s too early to check the standings every night, but the Celtics had a great day on Thursday. The Celtics received assistance from the Thunder’s victory over the Sixers and the Heat’s victory over the Bucks, in addition to their victory over the Nets (the Cavaliers trailed the Blazers at halftime).
The Celtics have regained a three-game advantage over the Nets, a 3.5-game advantage over the Bucks, and a 5.0-game advantage over the Sixers after slumping.
On Saturday and Monday, they will play the Hornets in Charlotte. Please forward this to your friends if you find it interesting. Newswatchlist.com is the best place to find the latest and updated information about your favorite celebs.