The Celtics Won For Just The 6th Time In The Last 30 Years In San Antonio To Remain In First Place

There are two arenas in the NBA that are the very definition of a house of horrors for the Boston Celtics. On the road in Toronto where I'm pretty sure the Celts are riding an 0-13 streak right now and on then road in SA where for the majority of my 32 years on this planet they had only won 5 times.

So yeah, even with how well the Celtics had been playing to start the year, going into yesterday's game against the Spurs was certainly no lock. In fact, it would have been a major upset for them to win that game seeing as how they never do and the fact that SA was 4-1 at home to start the year. So naturally what happened? They kicked their dicks all the way into their bodies. After a quick 7-0 run by SA that was it for them, the Celts responded with a 7-0 run of their own and it was curtains for the rest of the night in what ended up being one of the most dominant performances we've seen from a Celtics team in years.

But it was not without a cost. As we know Gordon Hayward is now out with a fractured left hand. Would I trade a healthy Gordon Hayward for this win? Absolutely. Do I want LaMarcus Aldridge investigated and promptly arrested for this actions? You bet. The only spin I have about that is this team does have the wing depth to handle Hayward's absence, especially if everyone is going to look like they did last night. That's the thing with this game, that part stinks out loud but don't let it distract you from how fucking dominant this Celtics team has looked to start the season. I can't think of a better way to get our days started so we may as well dive right in.

The Good

- If you can believe it, there are people out there in the world that 

A) Were mad about Jaylen Brown's extension, thinking he wasn't worth that money

B) Want him traded this season for a big man

I assure you I am not making it up. These are often the same people that thought Jaylen coming back from being sick would ruin the team chemistry. It's weird, almost like they forgot Jaylen is off to a great start this season and oh right is also really fucking good at basketball. My evidence? See for yourself


Call me crazy but I feel like having a 22 year old wing you can throw up 30/7 on 10-18 shooting while also going 9-10 from the FT line is a pretty good piece to have. Jaylen promised us that things would be better after the work he put in this summer and it's wildly apparent when you watch him play. Look at how much more aggressive he is at attacking the rim, while that was always a strength of his, now he's finishing around the rim with either hand. Gone are the days of Jaylen missing every layup he takes and I for one could not be happier.

It was Jaylen that really set the tone early in this game, his 20 points in the first half were dominant but it was more than just his ability to get wherever he wanted offensively that stood out. How about the defense? DeMar DeRozan, you've heard of him right? All Star player, guy who kills the Celtics every time they play, well Jaylen guarded him 29% of his time on the floor (the highest) and allowed only 4 points. Not bad!

- All most of us have ever really wanted was to see Timelord get some real burn because the flashes he shows in limited minutes are mostly ridiculous. He still makes his mistakes and he still has a lot to figure out, but in my opinion that comes with playing time. Well I am happy to report that in this game not only did he get that opportunity, he also had this best professional game as a Celtic and might be their answer at the five

11/7 with 6 blocks and dunks that defy the laws of physics. That's pretty much Robert Williams in a nutshell. You combine that with the fact that he held LaMarcus Aldridge scoreless while defending him on 31% of his possessions and dare I saw Timelord was perfect in this game. Think of what we all agreed this team needed heading into the season. They needed a legit rebounder/rim protecting defensive center. I'm sorry, isn't that exactly what Williams can be? LMA put up like 48 points the last time these two teams played, he finished this game with 3 points. If that doesn't excite you I'm afraid you might be a dead person.

- This was another one of those games where you don't realize it but then you look down and Kemba has 26/5/8 with 0 TOs. His efficiency is getting better, and if there was any doubts about how he would perform now that he wasn't the sole option, suggesting that his scoring and production in CHA was inflated due to his circumstances, well I think we can bury that take too


The scoring is nice, the love for his teammates is great, but for me the best part of his night was the 8 assists and 0 TOs. That's something that we really haven't seen from Kemba yet this year because he's not that type of point guard. I'd love to see him get up to that 6-7 assist a night range and he certainly has the talent around him to do it.

- For a team that was supposed to suck at defense, especially interior defense, I'm having a hard time understanding how the Celts only allowed 30 points in the paint, had 11 blocks and oh right woke up this morning with the 5th best defense in the entire NBA. 

Did I mention they have the 2nd best net rating (9.3) in the entire NBA trailing only the Lakers (9.5)? I mean I was told repeatedly this was going to be a disaster yet…….they rule? Weird.

- When discussing Jayson Tatum and his leap this year, it's important to remember he is so much more than just an isolation scorer.

The scoring and the rebounding are nice, and both are very much needed for this team to be successful. But it goes deeper than that, we're seeing a player who is improving his vision and playmaking ability. His 4 assists may not seem like a lot, but for him it sort of is. We're seeing Tatum make passes and make reads that weren't happening in his first two years, and then you combine that with his much improved defense and when you add it all up that's how you get to a Year 3 jump. 

He was a team best +23 in this game and that's not an accident

- We are now at the point where teams cannot go under screen on Marcus Smart. Yes, it felt very weird typing that sentence but it's also the truth


it was another vintage Smart performance where he did a little bit of everything, so while the 4-9 from three may not be sustainable, everything else he gave you absolutely is. 

- I cannot stop watching this play. 

- It continues to be impressive how many turnovers this team forces (15) and how few they have themselves (8). You combine that with their FT shooting (25-28) and it's these little things that the Celts excel at that play a huge role in their success. Limiting opponents to easy transition baskets because you never turn it over while feasting on those yourself (21 fast break points), and being nails from the line are what the good teams in this league do.

The Bad

- Now it wasn't all gravy of course. For starters the 21 OREB from SA is a big time no no. Can't be having that on a regular basis and it almost makes no sense how the Celts could allow that many and still win by a billion points. It was definitely an issue right from the jump where SA got 6 OREB in the first quarter, and they got destroyed on the glass 57-43. More often than not that leads to a loss so please don't do that shit again.

- I don't know what it is, but this team can't guard Patty Mills. The Team USA Celtics couldn't do it when he single handedly beat them in FIBA, and the Celts couldn't do it last night with 20 off the bench on 7-12 shooting. He's definitely one of those random NBA players that will always torch this team I am sure of it.

- This was called a foul on Jayson Tatum in real life

- I didn't exactly love the defense from this team in the third quarter, surrendering 37 points on 58/75% splits. Sure maybe they let the foot off the gas because they had an 18 point lead at the break but I'm not sure I love that either. Luckily for them their offense never went cold, but I am not a fan of taking quarters off defensively, that's how bad habits form.

- Of course we have to lump Hayward's injury in this section. It sucks, we all know it sucks, and I feel for a guy who was playing the best basketball of his career and finally looked like himself again.


The Ugly

- You know the rules, we're off from this section until the Celts lose a game which honestly might never happen again.

Looking ahead the Celts have another great test on Monday with DAL because nobody has been able to stop Year 2 Luka and Porzingis is a matchup nightmare, but then after that things lighten up with WSH/GS/SAC. We'll finally see what this team is made of when they head out for their first West Coast trip because as we know and have already seen with other Eastern Conference contenders, weird shit can happen when you go out West. But we can deal with that when we get there, because at the moment the Celtics are the best team in the East, arguably the best team in the NBA and they are showing no signs of slowing down.