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Thankfully, The Celtics Ended Their Regular Season On A High Note

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics

I’ll never forget this tweet immediately after watching Hayward get hurt

Well, now that it’s all said and done I wish Present Dan could go back to Past Dan and let him know that things were going to be OK. That this team was still going to win 55 games and be a 2 seed. I think I would keep the other injury stuff to myself because at that time Past Dan was very emotional, but the point is this season went a billion times better than any of us originally predicted after that horrific fall.

Which brings me to last night. Personally I wish the Celts hadn’t been so pathetic in their games leading into this date with BKN so we could have tanked and hurt their lottery pick even more, but the alternative wasn’t so bad. At least I can convince my brain the Celts are now heading into the playoffs on a high note which will for sure impact how they play against MIL. It was fitting that the Celts ended the season holding a team to under 100 points, while also giving me everything I ever wanted on the offensive end. What do I mean? Keep reading.

The Good

– You know where this is going. How could I start anywhere else.

No joke, Yabu fucking ruled. When I saw the tweet saying that he was not only active, but starting, I knew we were in store for a great night. Yabu was built for meaningless last games of the year against shitty opponents, and we saw why. In his 28 (!!!!!) minutes he finished with 16/5 with 2 steals and a block on 6-10 shooting (1-2 from deep). I don’t want to exaggerate and call this an all time performance, but it was damn close. An inside/outside game on the offensive end and All NBA defense on the other, Yabu may have earned himself a spot in the playoff rotation. That is if Brad actually wants to win this postseason.

I’m not kidding about his defense either, it is so goddamn legit. Yabu had a 93.4 Drtg on the team last night, opponents went 4-11 against him, and he was tied for the team lead in deflections. I don’t care if this was against the Nets, a guy who has BARELY played this year usually isn’t this good on the defensive end this quickly. Just imagine what happens if he ever gets consistent minutes. To all those who chirped me all year about how he wasn’t an NBA player, suck on that.

– I will continue to ignore the opponent and instead put my focus towards appreciating the fact that Aron Baynes did something on the basketball court for this franchise not done since Kevin Garnett. That is in fact a real sentence and not hyperbole.

Baynes became the first center since 2008 to notch 26/14 an he did it by taking 23 shots. Twenty three shots!! Before this game Baynes had taken 29 shots in all of April, but he came out in that first quarter and asserted a level of dominance I did not know he had. I mean he looked like fucking Shaq going up against Jarrett Allen, living on the offensive glass (9), and dunking everything in sight. There is no way I will expect Baynes to have this sort of offensive output in the MIL series, but I sure do think he’ll be able to rebound and defend like he did last night. Give me his 29% rebound rate and 69 Drtg all day everyday and twice on Sunday.

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– You know the NBA really needs to figure out their playoff eligibility rules. I feel like as long as you are on the active roster by the time the playoffs come around, you should be able to play. Now perhaps I feel this way because Jabari Bird and Jonathan Gibson might be some of the best scoring guards in the entire league

but I’d much rather see either of those guys in a playoff series than fucking Nader that’s for damn sure. Gibson was on fire last night, finishing with 18 points on 8-13 shooting, and it’s simply unfair that the Celtics won’t be able to use him or his outside shooting. Same thing goes for Bird and his athleticism. I’m clearly not the only one who thinks this

If I see Nader cost the Celts a playoff game I am going to lose my shit.

– You know both teams never really cared about this game because the Celtics took 102 shots. That is an insane amount of shooting that you usually only see in either an overtime game or the All Star game. And yet, they finished with 45% shooting! I really needed this wire to wire win just for my own sanity, but this game also served as an opportunity for guys to get out of their offensive slump. Take Shane Larkin for example. We all agree the guy had been struggling over his last handful of games, well sometimes the best cure for that is to play a team like BKN, and next thing you know you’re putting up 12/10/7 and look great!

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Larkin is going to be very important for this second unit moving forward until Smart gets back, so the more confidence he can have heading into Sunday the better.

– You think Monroe will be motivated to play his old team? If he can have the type of production he did last night (9/9/4 in 20 minutes) I’ll feel great. It’s no secret who’s getting the ball when he’s in, as he had a 23% usage rate last night which was 3rd on the team, and for him it’s all about efficiency. As long as he scores around the rim, give it to him every damn time for all I care. The second unit will need offense like that and I’m ready to see what Greg can do.

– What do I always say, for this team to win it comes down to two things really: Defense and rebounding.

Well, holding BKN to 97 points, and 40/27% splits while forcing 15 TOs sure does the trick defensively. Then on thje glass, how about a 62-44 difference? My word I haven’t seen the Celtics rebound this well maybe ever.

– Fuck it we’re running it back. Love Yabu

The Bad

– Solid 4-15 from Abdel Nader. I don’t care if he was a +20, I’m really searching for something to put in this section because the Celtics played well and this is the best I got. When in doubt I can always rely on Nader to give me something, so I guess that’s cool.

– Maybe they were nervous, but the end of the bench guards sure had a tough time holding onto the basketball. As a team the Celts had just 13 TOs which was impressive, but Bird/Allen/Gibson combined for 10 of those. Considering MIL feasts on guys who turn it over, maybe it’s not the worst thing that we won’t see these guys in the series now that I think about it.

– Poor Jahlil Okafor. Inactive basically for the last 12 games of the season, if only he could get out of BKN and onto a new team to get a fresh start. Then we’d really see he can actually play. I know that’s what people said about his situation in PHI, but maybe he STILL isn’t in shape yet. That’s what BKN kept telling us right? SHEESH.

The Ugly

– Once again, please just wear the original home whites when playing at home. I hope to God this does not continue in the playoffs, mostly because I think the MIL alternates are about 100x better than the Celts. Everyone knows if you look good you feel good and then play good, so I don’t think the Celtics can risk it. Make them wear their normal sort of ugly uniforms while you are looking like a fine piece of ass in your home whites. I do not want to have to repeat myself on Sunday.

– I really wish this team was fully healthy heading into the playoffs. I know this isn’t news but I had to put it somewhere. It’s just such bullshit.

So here we go. The second season has arrived and a date with Giannis is on the horizon. With how inconsistent both teams have been it’s hard to say what’ll happen other than I’m sure it will be entertaining as hell. Last night closed the door on what was a wild regular season for the Celtics, one that had it’s fair share of ups and downs, but one that I truly believe we’ll look back on and laugh. It’s time to put our trust in Brad Stevens that he can figure out how to navigate this team through what will be a tough playoff grind, and show why he is one of the best coaches in the entire league.

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Let’s fucking DANCE.