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If You Can't Enjoy Jayson Tatum Making History And The Celtics Absolutely Rolling Right Now Then You Have A Gigantic Dump In Your Pants

Jacob Kupferman. Getty Images.

Sometimes, you just have to give the ball to your best player, sit back, and watch them put on a show.

I think most will agree that there is not about to be a parade in Boston because the Celts went down to Charlotte and took 2 games from the Hornets to improve to an NBA best 33-12 while extending their East leading 7 game winning streak. Those were games the Celts were expected to win in my opinion, and they are now 17-5 against teams under .500. Of teams in the East with that many wins (BOS/NYK/CLE), only the Celts have fewer than 6 losses. You could say that at the moment, they're taking care of their business.

We woke up today with the Celts up 4.5 games on BKN, 4.5 games on MIL, 5 games on PHI, and 5 games on CLE. In fact, the difference between them and BKN is larger than BKN and the 6th seed. For a team with hopes to play late into the Spring and into early summer, the best way to ensure you're rested is to win early so you can rest late. That's why these games matter. The earlier this team can lock up the 1 seed the better, and making sure you handle your business against bad teams is a great way to help create and establish that all important separation.

With a weird start time, no Jaylen, and a team that probably was a little pissed about how the first meeting went, I didn't know what to expect yesterday. I've seen the Celts sleepwalk through that exact same game before, and I've also seen them come out and kick the shit out of someone. We've all experienced the early afternoon kryptonite with this team before, so it wasn't out the realm of possibility that it would show up again.

Thankfully, Jayson Tatum & Co did not allow that to happen. Instead, it was another monster performance from everyone involved which is something that has become a bit of the norm as of late. With the big rematch against GS on the horizon, it's my professional opinion that building as much positive momentum is a good thing. 

We were blessed with some history yesterday, so as we always do let's dive right in.

The Good

- As I said yesterday, if you do something on a basketball court that puts you in the same sentence as LARRY FUCKING BIRD, I consider that a big deal. So, by that criteria, what Jayson Tatum did in this game was a big deal

Almost immediately you heard from the doomers about this one. How many times have you seen/heard

"Who cares about Tatum's 50? Everyone is dropping 50 now, it means nothing."

Apparently, something that has only happened 16 times in 664 games this season is "something that happens all the time". Grow the fuck up if that's your stance. A player getting 50 will always be a big deal, no matter what team they play for. If it was easy, everyone would do it, and as you can see that is clearly not the case. In terms of the Celtics franchise, none of us have ever seen a player drop more in the franchise's HISTORY. If you can't take a second and acknowledge how cool that is, well then maybe this sport and this team isn't for you. 

There's a reason the players and the league make a big deal of it, because it is a big deal. I'm not sure why this upsets or triggers people. Maybe they just want to parrot what they immediately heard yesterday on the radio where the usual suspects spent 2 seconds shitting all over the performance. Whatever, you do you. 

In terms of Tatum's performance, it was easily one of the most all around games of his career. It wasn't just the 51 point total, he also finished with 9 rebounds and 5 assists. He shot 15-23 from the floor, 7-12 from deep, and 14-14 from the FT line. Outside of some TO issues (4), you could make the case that Tatum played a near perfect game. A cool 20 in the first half and 31 in the second, including 18 in the 4th quarter which the Celts needed after the Hornets cut it to a 2 point game.

I think that's part of why I love Tatum's 51. It didn't come in a blowout. The score looks like a blowout, but this was a one possession game in the fourth quarter. The Celts needed to find ways to execute on both ends in high pressure moments, and THOSE are the reps that I think matter most. Tatum led the charge during those final 12 minutes, and that's exactly what you want to see from your superstar player.

- At some point, things will come back down to earth for Malcolm Brogdon's offense, but I'm not sure we're there just yet

This was another game where I could care less about Brogdon's passing/playmaking. While Jaylen is out, I want Brogdon's role to be someone who is aggressive and is looking for his own shot. This team has enough passers, they need Brogdon's scoring right now and man is he delivering in a big time way.

I could make the case that outside of Tatum, Brogdon might be the best Celtic during this entire winning streak. Through these last 7 wins he's up to

18.7/4.0/3.6 on 55/56% splits with 3.0 3PM

He's now among the league leaders in 3P%, and while I do think we have to remain on this planet and understand that he won't always shoot 56.8% on 5.3 3PA a game, I'm sure as shit going to enjoy the ride while it's happening. For what it's worth, we kind of said that when Brogdon shot 54% in 12 games during November, and after a dip in December like everyone else, he's back again over 50%. The point is, as long as Brogdon is going to continue to be a reliable 3pt shooter, this offense is going to thrive.

From the looks of things it seems like Brogdon is comfortable in his role, and now that teams have to respect his 3PA and will close out hard, I trust in his ability to put the ball on the floor and make a play in the paint/rim. Getting starter level production from your backup point guard is a pretty big deal, and even without Jaylen I would say Joe is doing a great job with Brogdon's minutes. During this whole streak he only has 1 game over 30 minutes played. That's exactly how you get the most out of Brogdon without burning him out.

- The sooner you accept Mazzulla Ball as your guiding light in life, the easier things will be.

Do people see why you don't overreact to a couple off nights over the course of the season? I am begging you to love and trust in Mazzulla Ball because this is what we see on a nightly basis. Yes, the Hornets defense is atrocious, but I'm not sure how that's my problem. This is where I should probably tell you that against the top 12 in the NBA this season, the Celts are 14-4. They are 17-5 at home and 16-7 on the road. An NBA best 16-7 against good teams.

The point is, it doesn't really matter who Mazzulla Ball goes up against, it's kicking ass. Early in the year we heard that it was a small sample and unsustainable. Well, here we are in mid January, 45 games into the season and I'm watching the same shit now that I did in November. That seems good.

- As is so often the case, everything Rob did in this game was awesome

His energy is palpable, his impact is undeniable, and he's doing it all in under 30 minutes a night. The more Rob is seeing the floor and the more guys are getting reps with him, it should be no surprise that we're seeing everyone remember that the Lob To Rob exists and is the most unstoppable play in basketball. When Rob first came back it felt like there were times where players forgot to even look for the lob, but those days are over. 

After each Rob game I keep saying the same thing to my brain, and that is I'm not seeing a guy who just had knee surgery. Rob is going all out on every play like nothing happened. He's jumping like crazy, his 2nd and 3rd jumps are quick, his OREB remains elite. We all know what a healthy Rob does for this team, and so far so good.

- With only 2 lead changes and the biggest Hornets lead being 1 point, I'd say this was a pretty complete ass kicking. It feels nice to get something like that compared to the alternative, and it told me that the focus of everyone, from Joe down to the last player on the bench was in the right place. They didn't walk into the arena and just assume they were going to win. They imposed their will right from the opening tip and made sure there wasn't going to be any fuckery going on. That's growth.

- 24 of 25 from the FT line as a team is my version of dirty talk. Nothing gets the blood pumping like 96% as a team from the line. That's the good shit.

- It was great to see that Derrick's neck was all good and he immediately got back to playing some incredible basketball. Both he and Brogdon have really stepped it up over the 7-8 games and their dynamic is so important to the success of this roster

I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but Derrick is shooting 43.3% from three over this 7 game winning streak. There's a good chance he found his outside stroke again and if you remember what things looked like in November when Derrick and Malcolm were hitting their open 3PA, this team was legitimately unstoppable.

The Bad

- Not a whole lot to be annoyed with in a game you put up 130, but it was pretty annoying that nobody seemed to find a way to box out Mason Plumlee. Why does it feel like Plumlee always kills this team on the offensive glass? On one hand I respect his energy, but on the other hand…ya know…box out. He had 6 OREB by himself and I can't say I love giving teams multiple chances. The Hornets shot 45/41% so it's not like they weren't taking advantage either, and my fear of course is doing that shit against a team that also might be able to play defense will have you in a tough spot.

Too often it felt like guys were just watching Plumlee get a rebound as opposed to putting a body on him.

- I wouldn't say Grant had a bad game considering he finished with 9 rebounds and 6 assists, but in terms of shooting the basketball things were certainly not great. Just 3-12 overall, it felt like there were times during that 3rd/4th quarter where Grant was maybe trying to do a little too much. There were times where he probably should have just pulled up for the corner 3PA, and other times where he decided to put the ball on the floor, but then didn't go strong to the rim.

In my opinion, it should be one of the two. Either take the three, or go all the way to the rim. I feel like Grant saw a few of his floaters drop over these last few games and has decided to go with that shot as opposed to finishing strong, and I'm not sure his touch is ready for that yet. Floaters are really hard, especially off the dribble for a PF.

- The final 3:34 of the third quarter was some of the most disgusting basketball I've seen this team play. This tweet pretty much sums it up

It was during this stretch where Grant did most of his damage, and it did sort of feel like once the lead got up to 16, the team started fucking around more rather than continuing to execute. In some ways that collapse helped Tatum get his 50, but there is a part of me that would trade that 50 ball for some 4th quarter rest. Having 3 minute mental lapses to end quarters isn't exactly what I had in mind.

- If Jalen McDaniels was auditioning for Brad in this game, I'd say he nailed it. Sure, maybe it was the game of his life (26 points and 5 3PM), but if he's going to be on the block at the trade deadline, consider me interested. He's the exact type of reserve wing depth I would be happy to add to this roster, and seeing as how he's an expiring and doesn't make a shit ton of money, I don't see how you can rule it out. The Hornets are about to be sellers, and he should be on Brad's list.

The Ugly

- Nope, no after 7 in a row. Rules are rules. We'll continue to skip as long as the Celts continue to win.

So here we go again. Another streak with another 2 day break before a showdown with the Warriors. They should be healthy and who knows about Jaylen, but even if he sits we all know this is a huge game. It'll be that way whenever these two teams play, and the Celts still have to prove that they can beat their boogeyman. We were in this exact same spot in December, and things didn't work out too hot. The Celts now have a 2nd chance and are playing some fantastic basketball, so lets see it on Thursday please. A Tatum 50 bomb against CHA is cool, but a Tatum 50 bomb and Celts win against GS would be much, much cooler.