Advertisement

The Celtics Really Won An NBA Game Using Maine Red Claws Players And A Guy From China

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics

Now normally who would really care about beating the Bulls at home. Even without Kyrie and Smart, I think we all expect that to happen. But then when you hear the Celts are also resting Tatum and Horford and going with guys from Maine and China, suddenly things were different. Having lost their last two games on one hand I wanted the Celts to blow this team out with it’s normal rotation just so they can start to feel good about themselves again, but after watching what we got I can honestly say it was 10000x more exciting. This was about as ideal a April NBA game as you could want, and you bet your ass I’m ready to overreact to a game that meant absolutely nothing.

Let’s go

The Good

– Given who was sitting, if the Celts were going to win this game they were going to need a big time effort from Jaylen Brown. Well, I would say a career high scoring effort qualifies

Jaylen wasted no time as he scored 11 of the first 15 points. He was aggressive, scoring in the midrange, at the rim, and a big time 7-10 from deep. Don’t let Jaylen shoot like 46% from deep in a playoff series I’ll tell ya that right now. All week we had to hear about how the Celtics should trade Jaylen and picks for Kawhi. Well look, it’s just for comparison sake, but through the first two years….

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 11.30.25 AM

Now let me make myself clear. Kawhi was better on both ends in his second year than Jaylen has been this year, but the point is if you’re looking for players that could potentially be on the same trajectory, this is pretty close. Both were 21 at the end of their second year, and given the development that Jaylen has showed in Year 2 compared to his rookie year, just imagine what Year 3 looks like when Gordon Hayward is also on the court creating even MORE space. If Jaylen is going to have the sort of midrange game he showed last night, and even more space to get to the rim, his Year 3 Leap is going to be bananas.

On a night where he didn’t have much help in terms of starter level talent, you could complain about 32/4/2 on 11-19 shooting.

– If not for Jaylen’s career night, you know where this blog would have started. All year, I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, I’ve prayed, give us more Yabu. Well all it took was the schedule to get to the part of the year where the games don’t matter and here we were last night. God blessed us.

Guerschon Yabusele, David Nwaba

24 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and a +12 which just so happened to be the second best +/- on the team. No big deal. Only everything I’ve ever wanted. All bullshit aside, watching Yabu finally get extended minutes, a couple things stand out

Advertisement

1). His defense is real. For a guy without a ton of NBA minutes, Yabu really seems to understand his responsibilities and has a good idea of how Brad’s scheme works. He’s often timing his rotations perfectly which is maybe the most important part, but also let’s not act like his lateral quickness isn’t inexplicably good. What does Brad love? Guys that are versatile and can guard multiple positions. Yabu not only has the body to defend in the post, but you can throw him in a pinch against fringe NBA players on the perimeter and he’s going to hold his own. Remember he’s just 22 and could not be more raw, and THIS is his starting point. Fuck all of you who chirped me all year he’s not an NBA player. Yabu is going to be running the league within 5 years if he keeps this up.

2). On the offensive end, he makes quick decisions. Much like versatility on defense, Brad puts a ton of weight on a players ability to make quick decisions on offense. That’s how everything works. Players that hold the ball and aren’t decisive usually don’t play. You watch Yabu and he’s constantly moving the ball along the perimeter, he understands the extra pass, and when needed he’s going to find his space and nail a three. The best way I can describe it is he doesn’t look nervous. He knows his role and doesn’t stray from it.

– If you told me Greg Monroe would snag a triple double as a Celtic I’d say no way. I knew he could rebound, and I knew offensively he could score in the post and you could run offense through him based on his ability to pass. But 19/11/10? No chance, no way I thought that would ever be possible

Granted Monroe abused a G League roster, but it was still fun as hell to watch. It’s not as if this was a blowout either so his performance was really needed. Whatever we can do to have this guy feeling good as we enter the playoffs I’m down for, because now that Irving is gone his offense becomes much more necessary.

– After watching this game, I am going to need a full and honest explanation as to why Abdel Nader is playing over Jabari Bird

24 minutes, 15/3/3 out of nowhere, not only did Bird look good, he looked like he could actually give you rotation minutes! Again, you or I probably look like fringe rotation players against CHI. but Bird fucking brought it. His energy level on defense was insane, that chase down block especially. Offensively, we haven’t seen a player work the baseline and cut that well since Avery was doing it. You saw his athleticism, you saw the defense, you saw what Ainge saw. Who knows what his basketball future will look like, but last night which is all we care about right now, he looked like a mini Jaylen.

Advertisement

So again I ask, how could anyone watch that and think Nader is a better option on the wing? I hope we get at least 24 minutes a night from Jabari for the rest of the season.

– It is a sick joke that the Celtics can struggle so much offensively with their normal guys, and then last night it’s the last guys on the bench and they shoot 55% while making 14 3PM and score 110+ points. I loved it, but at the same time all I could think about was where the hell was this offense when they were scoring 13 points and 15 points in a quarter.

– A pretty eventful night for Marcus Morris

For the record, and I know Bobby Portis is a crazy person, but Morris wrecks this dude.

– You know everything is coming up Ainge when Yabu dominates, this Bird becomes better than the old Bird, and a guy you just brought over from China is raining threes

Advertisement

Jonathan Gibson is a guy that took like 12 3PA a night in China. So naturally for a team that loves shooting threes it is a match made in heaven. Good news is now Ainge can flip him for Anthony Davis!

– Huge sigh of relief this team didn’t lose to the fucking Bulls. Real talk that would have been a terrible look.

The Bad

– Not the best perimeter defense if we’re being honest. For a team that thrives on defending the three, they didn’t do much of it in this game. CHI finished 14-30 on the night which is 46.7% and on top of that they shot 46% from the field on the whole. This was a streetball shootout for a large portion of this game which I guess you want if you’re the Celts, but once CHI started making their threes things didn’t really adjust.

– Anyone else of the thinking it’s time to just shut Rozier down until the playoffs? I’m not sure he’s right. He’s 4-17 over his last two games after sitting for his bum ankle, and he’s far too important for the playoffs to give him meaningless minutes. At times it looked like he was hobbling so just let him get treatment, smoke some weed to help deal with the pain and get right for the first round.

– Oh no way Nader was a team worst -9

– Even with Baynes and Monroe playing, the Celts are still giving up way too many points in the paint. The Bulls had 44 last night with no real post threat and no big really had an answer to stop Baby Dirk who finished with 20 points on 7-11 shooting.

The Ugly

– 7-17 from the FT line is pretty damn ugly.

– The turnovers are still a problem with the Celts ending the night with another 18. This isn’t just an issue with guys who never play, Jaylen had 4 and Terry had 3. If this team wants to have any shot in a playoff series, they NEED to get back to taking better care of the ball. Their margin for error is basically gone, so to play so carelessly is annoying.

Given what we saw, I really hope guys like Yabu and Bird are going to get extended looks over the last handful of games. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Celts rest Jaylen soon, and I think Brad was pretty clear that his focus is on health and rest. With the Hawks up next it wouldn’t shock me if we saw a Larkin/Bird/Nader/Yabu/Baynes starting lineup, and I for one cannot wait. The Celtics should now enter the Vegas Summer League as title favorites, now that we know their Summer League Roster can actually win NBA games.

54 down 0 to go.