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We Witnessed One Of The Greatest Postseason Performances Ever By Any Player In NBA History Last Night

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“Isaiah, the way you play, you could become a Celtics legend” – Danny Ainge

6 in a row. Two more to go until the Conference Finals. Frankly I haven’t even remotely come down from what we saw from this team in Game 2. It’s almost hard to put into words but at the same time deserves a 50000 word blog. Last night we witnessed not only Celtics history, but NBA history, and any time that happens, it’s only right to stop and appreciate what happened.

Game 2 was yet another microcosm of the Celtics entire season. Start slow, get back in it, blow it again, let Isaiah save the day. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but the best part about this win was that it’s true Isaiah is the main story, the closer you look you see this was a full team win. Contributions from almost anyone who touched the court not named Amir Johnson. It’s why fans of this team care about #depth.

All of the sudden it looks like the Celtics bandwagon is getting a little crowded and that’s to be expected. This team has been doubted all year long, despite the win total and the top overall seed in the East. Isaiah was doubted for some reason despite his body of work, Brad was doubted as a couch, Ainge as a GM. But who’s laughing now? Me. I am laughing.

Again, I said it after Game 1 and I’ll say it again today. There is still A LOT of basketball left to play in this series. It by no means is over, far from it. Now if the Celtics go into Washington and win Game 3, I’ll start thinking things. Until then, we celebrate.

Let’s go.

The Good

– I don’t want to say #TeamIsaiah is validated after last night’s performance, because that happened long ago, but after what we just saw this debate is deader than dead. Just when you think Isaiah can’t get to another level, he jumps three. On his sister’s birthday, after spending hours getting oral surgery, look at what he just did.

44 minutes 53 points 4 rebounds 4 assists 3 steals 18-33 shooting (5-12 from deep) and just 2 TOs. Absolute insanity. You know the rules, enjoy.

ENCORE!!! ENCORE!!!

My oh my. I think it’s important that when something like this happens, we all take a step back and look at the historical significance. Last night, Isaiah Thomas poured in the 14th highest playoff point total in NBA history. That means of ANY player. How rare was his 53 points? Well, Lebron has never done it, or Durant, or Curry, or pretty much any legit superstar. In the Celtics history, only Isaiah (53), Cousy (50), Ray Allen (51), Sam Jones (51) and Havlicek (54) have broken 50. Nope, even Pierce didn’t do it. Take a look at this fucking list

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Ummmmm holy shit. With so much to love about Isaiah’s night, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite, so I suppose I’ll start here. All season I’ve stressed that Isaiah is among the best point guards in the NBA let alone the East. I saw him to head to head with John Wall five times this year, and outplay him basically every single time. Then Wall came out and had a Game 2 (40/13) that on any other night is one of the most dominant postseason performances in years. He wanted to be the alpha. He wanted to assert his dominance. Isaiah came back and said frankly, no.

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Seeing Isaiah do this against a guy who we all agree is a legit stud proves he belongs. Here is what I know. I know John Wall had 5 points in the fourth quarter and OT. Total. Isaiah had 29. The Wizards as a team had 30. That is BANANAS. I’m a visual learner, so to help explain what we saw, it looked a lot like this

He was simply relentless. And the best part is, this was in no way shape or form luck. Isaiah has put in the work to develop his game precisely for this moment. He is everything fans in this city say they love in their athletes, and Ainge was right. The way Isaiah is playing, he is on his way to becoming a Celtics legend.

Oh, and how bout his late fourth quarter defense on John Wall. What a night.

– On a night that consisted of historic performances on both sides, do we realize Terry Rozier was a +25? He leads the NBA in playoff +/- if I’m not mistaken! Brad gave Rozier an opportunity this postseason and he has certainly made the most of it. In Game 2, he threw up 12/6/4 in 25 minutes, and that corner three was without a doubt the biggest shot of his entire career.

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One of Ainge’s most criticized picks at the time, it sure as shit looks great now doesn’t it? Rozier picked the perfect time to go full Summer League Terry on us, and I can’t even explain how big a game like this will be for his confidence moving forward. For me he has to be the surprise of the playoffs so far for this team, his production on that second unit has been gigantic.

– I think as we turn the page to Game 3, we’ll see another Brad adjustment. What might that be? Well, would it shock anyone if he gave Jaylen the start? Watching him defend Wall made it move, seeing him clapping and wanting the challenge on the defensive end is exactly what you want. Then factor in what he is showing on the offensive end, and it does not appear that the moment is too big for him. Going back to Amir didn’t work, Gerald’s luck may have run out, I think it’s time we unleash Jaylen and see what happens. Bet he dominates.

– Shame on Horford for only going for 15/13/3 on 6-9 shooting. What he doesn’t like to pass all the sudden? Here’s a player that had just 3 shots in the entire first half. Naturally the Celtics struggled offensively. Well he doubled his FGA in the second half, and was much more engaged on the class. 10 of his 13 came in the second half/OT, and you could argue the ability to hold WSH to one shot was crucial in their comeback.

I also like that Horford didn’t lose his shit with that junk that Morris did to start the game. I’ll continue to say it all series, how the Celtics handle this team mentally is going to be key. The Wizards know the Celts are better so they are going to try and bait them into losing their composure.

– Celts kept the rebounding close (44-41), had more points in the paint, more second chance points, more fast break points, and gave up just one quarter of 30+. Spectacular performance all the way around.

– An underrated gigantic play in this game, that helped swing momentum, came from who else. Marcus Smart. His offensive rebound that drew Gortat’s 6th foul was so typical Marcus I loved it. Again he couldn’t shoot for shit, but he continues to do everything else. With Gortat out everything opened up. The Celtics had 14 of their 15 points in the paint in OT. I’d say that was a pretty important rebound.

– Sup Playoff Kelly

Another strong performance from Kelly, who did not miss a shot in this game and hit two threes. He continues to get a shitty whistle on one end, but his slow awkwardness is showing no sign of being able to be contained. He may frustrate you, he may make you want to puke at times, but Aggressive Olynyk is a real NBA player, and he’s been nothing but aggressive this series.

– How about the defense on Bradley Beal? Did he play? What injury does he have I can’t wait to hear all about it.

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The Bad

– Well, at least Brad gave it a shot, but unfortunately, this will not be a series for Amir Johnson either. A brutal start for him on one end, and another great start for the Wizards on the other, it’s time to go with other options. Sucks because Amir has been nothing but a true pro about this whole thing, but this is not the time to mess around. Those first two minutes of the game were pretty brutal, and no surprise we didn’t see him again.

– The Celtics had a rotation problem early in this game. They get into trouble when they help too much and too quickly on Isaiah and don’t properly communicate. Several times there was no secondary rotation to fill Horford’s spot when he came to Isaiah’s side, and as a result the Wizards feasted on easy uncontested layups. That’s mostly all about communication, and something that I would assume Brad addresses today. Helping is fine, but you need to remember to help the helper.

– Didn’t love the decision making from Jaylen to end the first quarter. Can’t give up a three with 10 seconds left, and while he was in a tough spot trying to decide whether or not to help on Wall, he had to make that decision because Avery was pretty lazy and like semi reached, instead of fully moving his feet and stopping the Wall drive.

– And speaking of the first quarter, what is going on around here. Another quarter in which WSH comes out blazing, this time to the tune of 42 points. That is going to bite you sooner or later. I know it’s part of the Celtics formula to start off slow, but this is getting a little out of hand. Only so many times can you get down 8 points in the first 2 minutes of a game and keep coming back. Careless basketball my friends, it’s the fucking worst.

– But it wasn’t just the first quarter either. The Celtics turned the ball over three times to start the third, and before they knew it a 3 point deficit became a 9 point deficit. What’s frustrating about this is we’ve clearly seen the Celtics are the better team, but the more they have these self inflicted wounds, the harder they are making things for themselves. A total of 16 turnovers is too many, despite the great outcome.

– I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where a team has 1 foul in a quarter, the other team takes the ball out, and before play even resumes, the defending team is now in the bonus. I honestly don’t think that has ever happened. Three fouls in a row, all before an inbounds pass? Clean it the hell up NBA.

– If you didn’t grab your face when Isaiah slammed his face on the floor just hours after having surgery on his teeth you my friend are incapable of feeling. What more is going to happen to this guy? What else is he going to have to play through? This is becoming legendary.

– Ohhh wahhhhhh the Celtics are defending Bradley Beal physically ohhhh wahhhh they are making him work for his points wahhhhh you can’t do that!! You can’t touch players!! Hey Scott Brooks, maybe stop reading the Fred Hoiberg playbook, it did not work out well for him.

The Ugly

– I don’t need to talk anymore about it right? The first quarter turnovers were absolutely inexcusable. NINE. That’s almost as many as they had in Game 1 and they did it in just 12 minutes. I, much like you, probably pulled out half my hair.

– How worried am I about Avery’s hip? 100457/10. I know he came back and finished the game and looked OK, but that doesn’t mean I’m not extremely concerned. This team needs Avery Bradley and that isn’t even a question. I want this series over as soon as fucking possible so he can have all the time he needs to rest and get treatment. Hip injuries are tricky bastards, and just once can we please have a healthy Avery for a playoff run. Is that too much to ask God? Please?

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– I thought Jae played OK in this game I really did. But there is one thing I refuse to accept when it comes to Jae. I refuse to accept this shot as a good shot

Jae is at his best when he takes threes within the flow of the offense, like Game 1. This shit right here is where he falls back into bad habits. Think of the situation, the Wizards just hit a big three to end the first, and on the very first possession of the second quarter, that is the shot you take. Not great. He also had a ill advised early in the shot clock three point attempt late in this game as well that I didn’t love. Again, I thought Jae was OK overall, but his bad habits bug me.

– After Brad took a timeout with just under 5 minutes to go, I did not anticipate the Celtics to shit the bed. A quick 8-0 run for WSH following that TO, the Celtics missed every shot they took for around 3 or so minutes, and if they would be so kind to avoid these type of mini meltdowns moving forward my heart and my underwear would greatly appreciate it.

So here we are, two wins away from the Conference Finals, and are in a prime position to go for the kill tomorrow night. The Celtics have turned what was the worst playoff start of all time and are suddenly the hottest team in the entire playoffs not named Golden State. At the end of the day they did what they were supposed to do, win two games at home, but when you factor in that not only are the Celtics the best road team in the East during the season, they also haven’t lost on the road yet this postseason.

We saw history last night. I’m almost positive we’ll see it again before these playoffs are over. This team is rolling at the perfect time, and while it’s dangerous to look too far ahead, I’ll allow it for today.

Now, say it with me….

6 down 10 to go

P.S.

NOW BUY A DAMN SHIRT

P.P.S

Screw it…one more time!!