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There's Bullying And Then There's What The Celtics Did To The Nets In Their 50 Point Rout Heading Into The All Star Break

Winslow Townson. Getty Images.

Just yesterday I blogged about how unfortunately for the Nets, they have a matchup problem when it comes to playing the Boston Celtics. It's why heading into last night, they had lost 9 of 10. Well, that is now 10 of 11 and 4 straight, this time by 50 goddamn points. No, that is not a typo. A legit 50 burger. Do people understand how hard it is to win an NBA game by 50 points? To do that once in a season would be very impressive, but what about doing it twice?

Oh cool, it's only happened 3 times IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA. That seems normal. It only hasn't happened for 31 years but whatever. In terms of the Celts franchise, this was the 4th time a Celts team had ever won a game by 50+. Think of how many games they've played and how dominant their teams have been, and this team is the only one that has won multiple games in a season by 50+. I'm not even sure I can truly process what I am currently watching, given that this is a level of dominance literally none of us have seen before. 

After the Celts horrific loss at home to the shorthanded Lakers, I was told it was time to panic. The sky was falling. All the Celtics bad habits were catching up with them and there was cause for concern!

OK.

Here on planet earth, the Celts did what they've done all year. They immediately responded after a bad loss and never lost again heading into the All Star Break. Not a single good team on that list, but I'm supposed to give a shit about that? The rest of the East has been feasting on dogshit teams all year, it's simply the Celts turn to do the same, and that's exactly what they've done. 21-1 on the season against teams under .500 if you were curious. 

if you had to dream up your ideal scenario for this team heading into the break, this is it right? Win every game you play, win at home and on the road, and in the final game before the break you don't play with your food and have a bad loss, you win by 50 fucking points. Even if it didn't always look pretty, I see a whole lot of green Ws in that graphic which as we know, is all that truly matters right now.

I did feel a little bad last night as the beatdown felt more like bullying than anything else, but this is what the Nets get for the Kyrie stomp on Lucky. Worst thing that ever happened to that franchise if we're being honest. It's been a bloodbath for BKN ever since that moment, and frankly I don't see that changing anytime soon because again, they have a matchup problem and no real ways to fix it.

With that said, let us begin.

The Good

- We gave Tatum his rightful props after his 41 point performance against this team the other night, so today we must do the same when it comes to Derrick White. 

The second we all saw that we were getting Headband Bald Derrick, anyone with a brain knew we were about to see a show. You combine the power of his baldness with the power of a handband and what do you get?

27/5/4/1 on 10-16 (5-10) and a rather insane +44 in his 27 minutes.

Please read those numbers again.

Here's our new dilemma. Do we need to collectively force Derrick to stick with this now? Or, now that we know there are some magic powers in this headband, do we only have him unleash it when the Celts have a big game, say in the playoffs? Regular Bald Derrick was already playing at an All Star level, so I'm thinking we save it for the big ones. It's just nice to have that in your back pocket when you need it.

It was also great to see Derrick stay aggressive through his little mini shooting slump, which included an 0-10 stretch from deep over his last handful of games. Then he saw one finally drop in the game on Tuesday night and finished 8-15 from deep heading into the break to sit at 39.7% on the season in 51 games. That's coming on 6.7 3PA too by the way, so yeah I'd say that's pretty damn good.

Are people aware that White is having a career year in FGM, 3PM, 3P%, FT%, REB, STL, BLK, and PTS. He's also just 0.2 AST from tying his career high there as well. You know what that means right?

Giphy Images.

About as flawless a first half of a season as one couple possibly ask for White, and he had himself one hell of a performance last night to cap it off.

- We already knew the Nets had no answers for the Celts size in their first meeting, and that was without Kristaps Porzingis playing. Now that he was back in the lineup, how the hell were they going to handle the 7'3 unicorn?

Oh right, they couldn't

15 points on 6-9 (3-4) in just 16 minutes for Porzingis in this win, and I'm of the belief that things would have looked even better had he actually played over 20 minutes. In fact, if KP was still eligible for awards, that game wouldn't have even been able to count for him since he didn't break the 20 minute mark. Did it even happen? Who knows. 

And while all of us were once again scared shitless once he left the game and came back with a heating pad on his ankle, that doesn't seem like anything the All Star Break can't fix. Rest up for these next 7 days and we'll see ya on the 22nd. 

Considering 12 of KP's 15 came in the first quarter it didn't take very long for us to see that as we expected, there was no BKN counter for this basketball unicorn. He started 5-6 from the floor and the next thing you knew the Celts were up big and never looked back.

Mind you, this was all without Jaylen and Horford too. 

- Whenever you have a blowout like this where the stars can sit, it's always fun when the bench guys come in and then also light everyone the hell up. There was absolutely zero drop off from the starting group to the bench, and it was another one of those nights where we were blessed to witness Pro Am Pritchard, who if you pay attention over the summer is one of the most unstoppable basketball forces on the planet.

Here is what that looks like on an NBA court

As soon as Pritchard has the opportunity to face back ups/scrubs, he turns into some sort of Steve Nash/Steph Curry hybrid. It's glorious. 

On a night where everyone seemed to be averaging a point a minute, Pritchard did more of the same with his 28/4/3 in his 31 minutes finishing 11-16 (6-9) from the floor. You could tell right away that he was locked in, and wouldn't you know he ended the night making some Celtics history of his own

Pretty cool for him to do that with Eddie House on the call, and as well as Pritchard played and shot in this game, it is what he said after it that I care about most

My god, my goosebumps have goosebumps.

- The beauty of a 50 point win is it also gave us an opportunity to see real Jordan Walsh minutes, and let me tell you something right now. Brad hit on this pick too I'm afraid.

At this point, I give zero shits about his offense. I imagine he was pretty nervous last night and definitely gassed, but that defense? The foundation is there folks

Imagine what things look like once he no longer has that rookie whistle? 

The biggest thing that stood out to me was that defensively, Walsh already looked like he belonged. Offensively is still VERY much a work in progress, but as we know if you can defend at a high level, there is a spot for you on this team. Considering this was his very first time not playing in the final 2 minutes of a blowout, I don't know how anyone walks away not impressed with what we saw.

This doesn't mean he needs playoff minutes or anything like that, but what it does mean is that I am very excited to see how he looks down the stretch of the season once the Celts start resting guys for the playoff push. This performance has me wanting more and not less of Walsh, and at this stage of his development, I consider that a win.

Given how strapped the Celts are going to be in terms of their roster construction moving forward, hitting on picks like this has the potential to be very big.

- When I say everyone ate in this game, I mean everyone. Even Oshae Brissett was out there getting buckets and doing awesome windmills in transition

It makes me happy that guys like Brissy who never complain and have done a wonderful job accepting and thriving in their roles gets to have nights like this at home in front of the Garden crowd before the break. It's a nice way of showing our appreciation for everything they do, even if they aren't regular rotation players.

Would I ever want to see so much Brissett offense and handling of the ball in a game that was close? Heavens no. Just keep hitting the offensive glass and making energy plays. But in blowouts like this? Go nuts. Let's see what you got.

- Quick update on Mazzulla Ball for all who observe

Hear me out here for a second. Perhaps, Joe Mazzulla isn't as bad as Twitter trolls or TV trolls try and make it seem? Maybe, just maybe those of us who have eyes and are watching how this team is playing since he got the job understand that he's actually pretty damn good?

Yes, his teams have talent. So what? Talent doesn't always win at this clip. It's bizarre to me that Celts fans who lived through 2018-19 still can't understand that. Success at this level requires ALL of it. Ownership willing to spend, smart front office moves, a talented roster, and a good coach who not only has buy in from his roster, but has a system and a style that is effective. Sorry if this upsets you, but the scoreboard doesn't lie.

- Now at the break, here is how you Boston Celtics stand

This has to be the year. It just has to be. I cannot keep seeing things that tell me this is one of the best Celts teams in the last 50 years as they continue to check every box that a title winner also accomplished and them not win the whole thing. I simply cannot.

It has to happen. I am not begging.

- Shoutout Luke Kornet for weirdly dominating this game both on and off the floor

The Bad

- What could anyone even be upset about in a game the Celts led wire to wire, there were no ties or lead changes, they were up by as high as 56 points, and they scored 136 points on 57/48% splits with 22 3PM and only 8 TOs as a team.

It may not be a "perfect" performance, but god damn is it pretty damn close. I mean, this team gave up only 32 points in an entire half and under 90 for the game. Do you know how hard that is to do in 2024? It's not like the Nets played all G-Leaguers either, this was basically their normal rotation minus Ben Simmons!

So if I had to choose something? I dunno, giving up 31 points in the 4th quarter maybe? The Nets did shoot 58/57% and frankly it cost the Celts from having the highest margin of victory in franchise history, so really they should be ashamed of themselves. Way to let go of the rope at the end and only win by 50. Have some pride next time maybe.

- Was it bad that Holiday only scored 3 points and only took 3 shots? Not really, but I needed something else to put here. He did finish with 5 assists and 0 TOs so it's not like he played poorly, I just found it shocking that on a night where you had such a huge offensive explosion, Holiday basically never shot the ball/scored. 

The Ugly

- By now you should know the rule. Win over 5 in a row, we skip this section until the Celts lose again. That becomes even more true when they win by 50. 

Unfortunately, we now begin the longest 7 days of our lives. I know the players deserve the break and all that stuff and rest is important blah blah blah. But what about me? What about us? What the hell are we supposed to do? Once Ocotber hits, I need this shit every other day. Getting through the spots of the schedule where the Celts have a 2 day break is hard enough, now I need to make it thorugh 7 days of not watching this team play? That's a disaster. Given how they've looked, this is me right now

Giphy Images.

If I could fast forward to the 22nd I would in a heartbeat. Sure it will be cool to see Jaylen in the Dunk Contest and both the Jays in the All Star game, but I'm already ready for the second half of the season. I am not ready to take a break nor do I want to take a break. Thoughts and prayers to all of us who are going through this difficult time.