That Was A Much Needed Blowout

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics

Listen, you won’t find me calling for the duck boats just because the Celtics blew the shit out of the lowly Bulls. I have a brain, I know they stink and that one win against a tanking team does not solve all your problems or immediately make you BACK. But at the same time, I think both the team and us fans needed a win like this. After the road trip they just had where they looked like a collection of people who had never played the sport before, they needed that homecourt cooking and an easy opponent to start the process towards getting back on track. They don’t make their schedule and all I care about is they just beat the teams they are supposed to beat, which isn’t always a given. Remember Orlando?

These type of wins are needed because frankly this team just needs to see the ball go in the basket. They needed a stress free win where guys could get rest with the big TOR/UTA back to back on the horizon and that’s essentially what happened. So please, enjoy this win if only because there haven’t been many recently, but understand there is still a long way to go before this team is “fixed” or back to normal, whatever you want to call it. The Bulls don’t want to win so don’t put too much stock into last night, the real test comes Friday/Saturday. Win both, and then you can start to talk about this team rounding into form.

But hey, this is the first positive blog I’ve been able to write in forever, so let’s dive in.

The Good

– When Jaylen Brown has the right offensive approach, it brings my life so much joy. When he attacks first and jacks threes second it’s almost as if he becomes a completely different player. So after his 18/6/3 on 8-14 shooting performance last night, what do you think his approach was?

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 7.55.22 AM

So much better. Go back and look at all his strong games this season and you’re going to see a very similar shot chart. You see, the solution to fixing Jaylen isn’t moving him out of the starting lineup, it’s making sure he has the right approach and is aggressive at all times. Yes, playing the Bulls makes this easier, but take that out for a second and focus on the mindset. You know what Jaylen didn’t do last night? Settle. And when he doesn’t settle and gets into the paint, he’s a very tough player to guard. If I’m Brad I am making Jaylen watch this film every possible second of free time to remind him if he drives, good things will happen.

– Any night where the Celtics don’t have to overly rely on Kyrie offensively, I consider that a gigantic win. He played just 27 minutes and finished with 17/6/7 on 6-8 shooting, so not only was he efficient, but he played a complete game. The exact performance I need from the leader of this team facing a bad team at home. You need them to set the tone early and make sure this was a blow0ut. That’s what Kyrie did

Granted the Bulls have zero guards who can even think about defending him, but I’ll have you know Kyrie is shooting 52/49% with 4 3PM so far in November while averaging 25.7/4.8/5.7. Safe to say Kyrie may be back to his old self.

– What’s the formula for this team? Defense and rebounding. Well the 82 points allowed were a season low and the Celtics won the rebounding battle 51-47 while only allowing 7 OREB. We’ve seen guys like Lopez burn the Celtics on the glass before and he was virtually a non factor, and while part of their defensive success is because they played a team that is awful, I’ll take this collective effort any day of the week

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 8.03.14 AM

– We all agree Jayson Tatum has suffered from a mild case of Kobeitis, and while last night he struggled going 5-14, he definitely didn’t struggle from deep where he went 4-8 and was much more willing to let it fly than instead putting it on the floor into a contested long two. I call that progress


The three point shot is extremely important not only for Tatum, but for this offense, so it’s great to see he’s at 48% with 2.6 3PM so far in November. That’s a huge improvement from his 28% and 1.1 3PM in October. It was only a matter of time before his shot came around, and he’s now 9-17 over his last two games from deep. That’s a great sign.

– We’re getting more and more progress from Gordon Hayward. After struggling in the first half, he played the most of any starter in the second (14 minutes) and turned in 10/4 with 3 steals on 4-8 shooting over that span.

While we’re still waiting on him to make some wide open shots, I would say the best part of his night had to be the effort he put in defensively. Opponents went just 3-9 against him for a total of 7 points. At this point any sign of progress with Hayward is worth celebrating, and I thought he had a decent all around game in terms of passing, defense, and second half scoring. It’s all about the baby steps at this point in my opinion.

– I am presenting this without comment. Suck on that h8ers


– With no Mook in the lineup, it was fair to be a little nervous about how the bench would do offensively. Well the three main bench guys responded, with Terry/Smart/Baynes combining for 29 points on 11-30 shooting. Terry led the way with 12/4/2

but I thought Smart with his 8 points on 3-6 shooting was just as good. Throw in a couple made threes and a 9/11 performance from Baynes, and thankfully the second unit was not an issue in this game even without their best option.

– If it feels like Horford is blocking more shots this year, that’s because he is. He has a career high 4.4 BLK%, and this was another pretty typical Horford performance. Nothing spectacular, just solid overall with 10/8/3 on 4-6 shooting


Biggest things for me are obviously the improvement on the defensive end, and the two made threes. Horford has been brutal from deep so far this season, so maybe a little home cooking is the thing to get him back on track.

– Sometimes you need to play a bad defense to work out your kinks, and the Celts finishing with 46.7/44% splits with 15 3PM was exactly what the doctor ordered. They also took good care of the basketball with just 13 TOs and while they didn’t get to the line all that much, they did go 12-14.

Many of you will probably be happy that this team took 90 FGA, and just 34 of them were threes. That’s a ratio I think we can all live with.

– We finally got another GINO. Buy a shirt

The Bad

– Look just because the Celtics won by a billion doesn’t mean it was all good. You remember that first quarter? The one where they shot 39/25%, couldn’t get a defensive rebound and allowed a Jabari Parker three at the buzzer to go down by 5? Not great! If you are sitting here telling yourself you weren’t nervous when they only scored 19 points in that first quarter against this CHI team you’re just flat out lying. It’s OK to admit, this is a safe space.

– It didn’t matter, but the Celts did lose the points in the paint battle, the fast break points battle and the second chance points battle. Moving forward I’d like to see them be a little better there.

– Just dunk it Jaylen

The Ugly

– OK, this is getting a little harder, but the rules are we can’t skip this section until they win 5 in a row so I have to pick something. After laboring over the numbers there is really only one thing that fits this section from this game.

There is no excuse that in a blowout like this that Yabu played only 5:38. This game was over for a lonnngggg time, and we as fans have been through enough over the last week, I needed Brad to throw of a bone and give us multiple Yabu sets. Give him every single shot for an entire quarter or something. On a near perfect night, that was really the only thing missing.


Again, beating the Bulls for the most part means jack shit. Nice to see because this team hadn’t played well in forever, but overall it’s mostly meaningless. If anything it just provides them a spark for the next two, which are the real test. The Celts have barely played at home this season compared to some of the other contenders in the East, but now that they have a little homestand they need to capitalize on that opportunity to get their groove back. Perhaps last night was the first step, but we’ll know more by Sunday.

In the meantime, enjoy it, and say it with me

8 down 54 to go.