As they confronted their first take a look at of adversity, Kristaps Porzingis was curious to see how the Celtics responded. They had dropped two winnable video games in a row after wanting like world beaters within the first 5 video games.
After Wednesday’s loss to the 76ers, Porzingis stated he even appreciated adversity. As these new-look Celtics look to develop chemistry with one another, their response was an necessary constructing block, even when it’s nonetheless early November.
It was what they had been searching for. The Nets, even with out main scorer Cam Thomas, gave the Celtics all they may deal with once more, simply six days after they did so in Brooklyn. But the Celtics had each response. Jaylen Brown scored 28 factors on 5 3-pointers in an enormous bounce-back effort, Jayson Tatum added 23, Jrue Holiday practically had a triple-double with 13 factors, 12 rebounds and 9 assists, and the bench stepped up with massive contributions because the Celtics pulled away and dealt with the feisty Nets for a 121-107 victory at TD Garden.
“It’s a learning curve,” Brown stated. “We’re nonetheless figuring stuff out, we’re nonetheless constructing chemistry with each other, we’re nonetheless constructing belief with each other.
“The two teams we lost to did a good job of putting a lot of pressure on us and kind of got us out of the stuff we want to do to help us win. As we study and watch and we improve, we learn to trust each other in certain moments. … We got a long season to go. It’s all about building trust and building chemistry out there. I think that’s the most important thing.”
The Celtics gained their first In-Season Tournament sport decisively and have three extra to go in group play, with the following match sport coming subsequent week in Toronto.
Brown led the way in which with a dominant first quarter, however after a sluggish begin to the season, the bench unit had its greatest evening on Friday.
With Kristaps Porzingis restricted to simply 9 factors on 4 photographs, and with out Al Horford, their depth stepped up in numerous methods to will the Celtics to this victory. Payton Pritchard, after a chilly begin to the season, erupted with 13 factors and 5 rebounds (together with 4 offensive) whereas Sam Hauser added 5 3-pointers – a part of the Celtics’ 19-for-52 effort from lengthy vary – to assist put away the Nets.
The Celtics’ bench went by main modifications this offseason after their two massive trades created turnover and totally different roles. But after a sluggish begin over the primary two weeks, Friday’s efficiency was encouraging.
“It’s easy to look at the scoring of the bench and be like, ‘We’re not producing,’ but there’s so much other stuff that those guys do for us on a daily basis,” C’s coach Joe Mazzulla stated. “Those guys are going to be good for us and I never lose confidence in them because of the work that they put in.”
Six days in the past in Brooklyn, the Celtics had some hassle with the smaller Nets, who sped the sport up and didn’t go away till crunch time. The C’s had been extra ready on Friday. Thomas’ absence didn’t deter the Nets, whose 3-point taking pictures stored them inside distance. But the Celtics responded to Brooklyn’s velocity and tempo with their very own hustle, whether or not it was with energetic protection or offensive rebounding.
The Celtics completed with 17 offensive rebounds – together with six from Luke Kornet and 4 from Pritchard – that led to 29 second-chance factors. Whenever the Nets appeared to threaten, the Celtics answered with these hustle performs and large performs from their bench unit.
“It’s something we’ve talked about and something that we feel like is good for our team, when we can get offensive rebounds knowing that sometimes we might be a little smaller, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go in there and get some extra possessions by crashing the boards,” Holiday stated. “It’s also fun. It throws energy for the team.”
The C’s led by 9 coming into the fourth and began the interval on a 11-2 run. Tatum began the surge earlier than Pritchard bought one other offensive board and located Hauser for a 3-pointer. Two possessions later, Pritchard arrange Hauser for an additional 3-pointer, and the C’s coasted to the end line.
Some different takeaways from the victory:
– Brown submitted a forgettable efficiency in Wednesday’s loss to the 76ers regardless of igniting a late comeback bid that fell quick, however responded immediately on Friday. An offensive rebound from Tatum within the early going led to a three-point for Brown, who appeared to really feel extra assured with each shot. On the following possession, Brown hit a 3-pointer in transition, and the ball stored discovering him. Brown scored 12 factors – greater than he did all of Wednesday – within the first seven minutes on his method to 21 factors within the first half.
– Pritchard has had a tough begin to the season. He had gone scoreless in 4 of the earlier 5 video games as he continues to get adjusted to a much bigger function he wished off the bench. But if he was urgent a bit, the guard might breathe some after Friday’s efficiency.
Pritchard got here off the bench late within the first quarter and proceeded to play within the closing 16 minutes of the primary half, as he continued to make constructive performs for the Celtics. He was instrumental in a important response from the Celtics bench after the Nets went on a 9-0 run to tie the sport at 27 by drilling a triple – his first factors since Nov. 1’s blowout towards the Pacers – as he led the bench on a powerful stretch. Moments later, Pritchard missed a 3-pointer however rebounded it earlier than relocating to the nook and making a 3-pointer because the Celtics went on an 8-0 run.
Pritchard didn’t rating the remainder of the half however performed the whole lot of the second as he made impression performs like grabbing a steal and corralling rebounds. When he returned late within the third quarter, the Celtics’ lead had dwindled to 9 when Pritchard was fouled. He made a free throw, misfired on the second however he rebounded his personal miss and laid it in to revive Boston’s result in 12. He made some extra massive performs within the fourth, together with discovering Hauser twice for 3-pointers.
“He changed the game for us tonight,” Mazzulla stated.
– In one other instance of how deadly the Celtics’ offense is, neither Porzingis or Tatum had made an enormous scoring impression as Brown took over and Boston took an early lead anyway. Porzingis took simply three photographs within the first half as a result of he was in some early foul hassle. Tatum, delegating to Brown, had zero factors halfway by the second interval earlier than he scored 13 within the matter of three minutes, which put the Celtics in agency management.