It took exactly 1 game for the Boston Celtics to put us through the torture chamber. I'm convinced they are the only team in the NBA that can look like the best basketball team in the planet on one quarter, and then a team that looks like they've never even played basketball before in another. In a way, it's why I love them. I'm addicted to the rollercoaster. Think of the emotional highs and lows we just experienced over those 4 quarters. The Celts come out and look incredible on both ends, then they completely shit themselves in the second quarter. They double their halftime lead heading into the 4th, only to start it giving up 13-2 run. Jaylen Brown is having a disaster class right before our eyes.
But then in typical Celtics fashion, they flip the script again, go on a massive 15-5 run and win the game. This was a performance we've seen the Celtics have a thousand times before. Usually, they lose a game like this. I'd say you can almost set your watch to it. Struggle from deep (30%), no real ball movement, bad 4th quarter offense at times, those are usually losses.
This year it wasn't. Why was that?
Once we learned that Knicks fans started the night booing him, I think we were all hoping he would make them pay for it
Uhhhhh yeah. About that
Not only was this a good debut, it was one of the best debuts in Celtics history. That's not hyperbole, that's just a simple fact. Porzingis opened the game up destroying everything in his path and he ended the game the exact same way. It took about two seconds for his two way impact to be extremely obvious, he changes everything on both ends. Defensively you had the blocked shots, but also the hesitation for any Knick to even try anything around the rim. This motherfucker is too goddamn tall. Offensively, I mean how do you guard that? He's 30 feet from the basket and is a three level scorer.
It was tough when we learned that Smart was involved in this deal, but a game like this is the exact reason why Brad did it. Porzingis is the difference maker. He's the one who changes the entire outlook and ceiling of this team. What we saw tonight was probably the peak, but what if it's also just the norm? This is exactly what he was doing with the Wizards. I know this is just the first game, but god damn how could you not be excited after what we just watched? Showing up in big moments, on the road, in a hostile environment with the game in the balance? That's the extra piece this team needs.
The good news is the Celts pulled this game out. The bad news is we saw a lot of the same problems creep up that got them into trouble last year. We'll break it all down tomorrow in more detail, but for the moment let's just appreciate the fact that a fully healthy and in his NBA prime Kristaps Porzingis is a member of the Boston Celtics.