Jaylen Brown is usually the Celtics’ tone-setter on each ends. In most first quarters, Brown hunts his shot and performs aggressively on offense, and he brings the power on protection.
But with out Brown out there on Monday evening in Toronto, the Celtics wanted someone else to step up. This time, it was Jrue Holiday’s flip. That hasn’t typically been the case.
With a lot expertise round him, Holiday hasn’t wanted to tackle a scoring burden along with his new staff, which has been simply effective with him. He has taken simply 10.9 photographs per recreation, his lowest since his rookie season in 2009-10. But with out Brown on Monday, the ball saved discovering Holiday and he took it upon himself to start out the Celtics robust.
It began on protection, the place Holiday is all the time at his finest and set the tone for one of many Celtics’ strongest efforts of the yr. He had two blocks and a steal within the opening minutes and it appeared to translate to the offensive finish, the place he was aggressive as he’s been all season. Holiday scored 10 factors on six photographs and added three assists within the first 10 minutes as he made his mark.
“It just felt like it was needed,” Holiday advised NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin of the robust begin. “I just took the opportunities that were given to me and really just tried to be aggressive on both ends of the floor.”
Holiday completed with 22 factors and 7 assists within the Celtics’ 105-96 victory in what was his finest offensive recreation of the season. As the halfway level of the season approaches, the Fifteenth-year guard is discovering a consolation degree with the Celtics.
Holiday has been the embodiment of sacrifice since being acquired by the Celtics on the eve of coaching camp. After being the No. 2 to Giannis Antetekounmpo in Milwaukee for 3 seasons, his numbers have been down throughout the board this yr. But his worth is obvious. He doesn’t need or should be a prime possibility. A champion in 2021 with the Bucks, he is aware of what it takes to finish the Celtics’ mission. C’s coach Joe Mazzulla has instilled confidence within the All-Defense guard to quarterback Boston’s protection, and his versatility has made him the perfect substitute for Marcus Smart.
Offensively, it was all the time going to take a while for Holiday, whilst a veteran, to regulate along with his new teammates, the instances he must be extra aggressive and the instances he must facilitate extra or take a again seat. It’s clear, with performances like Monday, that he’s determining how you can strike that stability.
“Everybody forgets when Derrick (White) first got here, the adjustment that it took for him and Jrue’s in that category now,” Mazzulla advised reporters. “He’s just learning how to affect the game differently and you can see him getting more comfortable on both ends of the floor.”
Holiday (proper elbow sprain), White (left ankle sprain) and Kristaps Porzingis are all questionable for Wednesday evening’s recreation towards the Spurs. Brown, who missed Monday’s win with a proper knee hyperextension, was not on the damage report, so he’ll return. … The Celtics recalled rookie Jordan Walsh from the Maine Celtics upfront of Wednesday’s recreation. …
The NBA introduced on Tuesday that the Los Angeles Clippers would be the host of the 2026 All-Star Game, which will likely be held on the new Intuit Dome that’s scheduled to open subsequent season. The Celtics reportedly submitted a bid to host the sport. Boston has not had the All-Star Game since 1964.