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The Way The Celtics Went Into Phoenix And Demolished The Suns Was Pure Celtics Porn

Christian Petersen. Getty Images.

I feel like it's important to start off this blog by telling the truth. This game was not as close as that score indicates. You might be saying to yourself, "Greenie, what do you mean? That score says 125-98. That's 27 points!". I know, and I'll say it again. This game actually was not as close as that score indicates. When the regulars played in this game, the Celts were leading by 45 points. 45. That's a 4, then a 5. Against the best team in the West and arguably the second best team in the NBA based on offense/defense/net rating. They had everyone back with CP3 finally returning. Booker played, Bridges played, Ayton played. Did it matter? Of course it didn't fucking matter do you know why?

Because the Boston Celtics are a wagon. I don't know how many more times I have to say it but I gladly will since they continue to show the world every time they step foot on the court. There were 11 games in the NBA last night, guess how many road teams won? 

One. The Boston Celtics.

Not only that, but they kicked the shit out of a team that was 12-2 at home heading into last night. Unfortunately for the Suns, they were facing the best road team in the NBA. Now at 10-3 away from the Garden, the Celts have the best road record in the league and it's not even really all that close. Of their league leading 21 wins, 10 of them have come on the road (10-3). They are now 10-2 vs teams .500 or better which you guessed it, is also the best in the league. When it comes to the elite teams out West, the Celts have now beaten every single team in the top 5 (NO/PHX/MEM/DEN/SAC).

Even their flaw (slow start defensively) has responded and the Celts currently sit 9th in the NBA defensively. This is with Al missing games, Smart and Brogdon missing games, and Rob not even playing a single second. He gets back in like a week by the way. That'll probably make some impact on both ends if I had to guess.

I think most agreed that this huge 6 game road trip was going to be a pretty good test to see what this current Celts group was made out of. So far? 3-0. Hasn't mattered who is or isn't in the lineup. Hasn't mattered if it's a B2B. Hasn't mattered if it's a 3rd game in 4 nights after flying across the country. The Celts are beating everything in their path right now and doing so in a dominant fashion.

Last night was the latest example, so let's dive in and talk about it.

The Good

- If it's OK with you, I'd like to start with some good old fashioned Celts propaganda. 

Go ahead, take a second and get yourself cleaned up. I'll wait for you.

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OK welcome back. 

Now that we got the beak wet with some propaganda, it's time to add some visuals to the mix. We may as well start with the two best players on the court last night. Did you know that both Tatum and Brown scored more points than the entire Suns starting five, and they did it with each guy playing under 30 minutes? It ruled.

A nice 25/5/2 for Tatum in 29 minutes and a solid 25/7/3 in 28 minutes from Jaylen. When myself and others say this is the best duo in the NBA, we are not lying. We are not just being homers. We are telling you the truth.

This is the best duo in the NBA and it might not even be close. Don't fight it, don't resist it, just accept it. 

I also want to shout out something specifically with Jaylen. For all the shit he takes about having turnover issues at times, I think we should also be just as loud when it comes to how well he's protecting the basketball despite his crazy usage

He has a 13:1 assist to turnover ratio over those three games while also averaging 27/8/4 in his 35 minutes a night. As a reminder, he's the 2nd offensive option for this team

Giphy Images.

The Suns are talked about as a team with an elite defense. People said Mikal Bridges was a more worthy DPOY than Marcus Smart. So, where was it? I'll tell you where it was. It was nowhere to be found because Mazzulla Ball cannot be stopped. Your only hope is that the Celts play like morons and just turn it over 20 times. If they don't? You're cooked. It's as simple as that.

- I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for an opposing team to have to deal with this starting five, you finally think you're getting a break once Tatum or Jaylen subs out, only in reality your life is about to stay miserable because Malcolm Brogdon is coming in and he's going to cook your bench guys like you read about.

It took about 2 seconds in this game for Brogdon to make his impact after he checked in for his first stint

Once Brogdon checked into this game is when the Celts started to get their initial separation in that 2nd quarter, and it's such a luxury that this team can have his talent level coming off the bench. He had his own personal 6-8 point run and finished with 16/3/5 on 7-9 (2-4) shooting in his 19 minutes off the bench. That is….not exactly normal. This is where the Celts depth really comes into play and why it's such a big deal. When other teams go to their benches, their talent level drops. When the Celts go to their bench, they are giving minutes to guys who are NBA starter level players. Whether its Malcolm or Derrick or Grant, no team can compete with that right now.

- Just go up and down the second unit and tell me who didn't play great. Luke Kornet comes in and continues to only make the right plays. It's getting downright silly at this point. He finished with 12/4/3 on 6-6 shooting in his 26 minutes. Whether it's catching lobs, cutting without the ball, challenging shots at the rim, we're at the point with Luke where you really can't deny his game. He's actually good! Brad knew and he tried to tell us. Nobody wanted to listen and yet here we are. 

- I thought Jaylen said it best after the game

The Celts are at their best not just when they are making all their threes and scoring 120+ every night. They reach their potential when they lock in on the defensive end. Keeping an offense like the Suns to under 100 with all their guys playing is no small feat. You had guys like Smart do his normal DPOY thing

Jayson Tatum was playing outstanding defense, holding all his matchups to just 2 points on 30+ possessions. Derrick White had 3 steals off the bench. When you watch this team play defense now, they're suffocating. The way they are clamping down on the perimeter is so much better than what we saw during the first few weeks of the season, and their bigs have been as solid as you can ask for in terms of rim protection. All of this coming without one of their most important defenders. At the moment they rank 9th in the NBA, but they are another solid game or two away from getting into the top 5. 

The Suns are very good at taking care of the basketball, and this defense forced 18 TOs. They shot just 39/25% as a team. Nobody was effective, not Booker, not Paul, not Ayton, not Bridges, none of them. That takes a collective effort from an entire roster to be on the same page defensively and when the Celts do that, they are literally untouchable.

- We've still never seen this team lose a game in which Blake starts. Last night he made 3 3PM, took some charges, was awesome on the glass and continues to fit perfectly on this team. As a reminder, Brad got Lob City Blake for the minimum.

- Speaking of Brad, what an icon

- One of the best parts of this team is how everyone on the roster refuses to stop bullying Grant. Jaylen did it in his postgame with Abby, Tatum got his shots in as well

Even Deuce gets into the action. I'm starting to think it might be a team rule at this point and it will never stop being funny. It doesn't even matter if Grant has a great game like he did last night. This team will never stop shitting on him any chance they get, and I think every team needs that on some level. It just shows you how good this chemistry is with this current group.

- Mazzulla Ball is truly something special. Against an elite defense we saw 125 points on 48/35/85 with 29 AST and only 12 TOs. You're simply not going to beat the Celts if they are doing this to your defense. What's crazy is they didn't really start hitting their 3s until the 3rd quarter and they were already up a billion. 

When this team takes good shots, owns the glass and doesn't turn it over, there's really nothing you can do. It's why Monty Williams waived the white flag so early. Even he knew.

- While he has some shooting issues, this was a great example of why Derrick White is so valuable. He's the ultimate ball connector who is going to give you solid defense and some occasional buckets. He led all bench guys with 6 AST, and he's another guy that whenever he's on the floor he always seems to just make the right play. His basketball IQ is off the charts, he's a plus defender and is someone who fully embraces his role. 

Remember, people said Brad overpaid for him. As a reminder, do not listen to these people.

The Bad

- I don't even know what to put here. Maybe that Sam Hauser went 2-6 from deep? Some early Tony Brothers fuckery? I dunno man, the Celts won by a billion and basiclly played a perfect game so this is pretty tough.

- OK, I think I have one. While nobody loves and trusts more than me, even I can admit that Marcus was a little too careless with the basketball. It tends to happen in these huge leads in a sense that he gets very risky with the ball. He wants to put on a show so on some level I can't really blame him when the team is up by 30+, but there was a stretch there where he had that bad pass into traffic and then fucked up the lob on the break. A 6:5 assist to TO ratio isn't all that great, and while this is nitpicking a little bit considering how well Smart played, I didn't love that little stretch in the 3rd.

- I'm starting to think Joe might just not be great at math. I can relate to that, I fucking hate math. Easily the worst thing on the planet when you're in school. If I didn't put tons of shit in my TI-86 calculator back in the day no way I pass any level of math. I'm starting to think Joe is the same way, because with his team up a billion we saw him stay with his stars. They even went back out in the 4th quarter!

The only explanation I can think of is Joe wasn't able to do the quick scoreboard math in his head and realize that he was up a billion. That was WAY too stressful to watch in a game that was over with like 19 minutes to go.

The Ugly

- Again, this is very tough given how this game went. I'll go with the fact that the end of the bench gave up 33 points and lost the final quarter 33-21. It was the only quarter the Suns had over 23 points and I didn't see Payton take nearly enough 3PA. I'm not even mad at how that unit played, I just need something in this section until they win 2 more games and we can skip it per the blog rules. I know this is forced, but that's what happens when you win by a billion.

Essentially every time this team has been presented with a challenge, they've responded exactly how we wanted them to. Now with a few days off before their NBA Finals rematch, perhaps their biggest challenge of the season awaits. I don't care what GS currently looks like, you can throw all that shit out. Saturday is going to be MASSIVE, especially for a team like the Celts whose sole purpose this season is to hang a banner

If they continue to play like this, they'll have as good a shot as any to do just that.

Love and Trust.