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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Rolling alongside in a difficult spot: 10 Takeaways from Boston Celtics-Utah Jazz

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1. If the Boston Celtics are going to run down the Milwaukee Bucks for the highest seed within the Japanese Convention playoffs, unlikely as it could be, they will’t afford any dangerous losses. Shedding to the Utah Jazz once more would have been a foul loss, even when Boston was in a troublesome spot.

The Celtics aircraft reportedly didn’t land till 1:30 PM ET on Friday. Some gamers didn’t hassle to go house, and as an alternative went on to the group facility for remedy earlier than heading to TD Backyard for pregame work.

It was additionally a back-to-back, coming off that win in Milwaukee. All advised, if Boston had misplaced, it might have been a foul loss, however an comprehensible one.

However they didn’t lose. It wasn’t fairly the blowout the Celtics had over the Bucks, however they had been in management from late within the first half and all through the second half. Being shorthanded required a number of Celtics to step up, and so they did.

All in all, what might have been an unpleasant loss after a fantastic win was prevented. That’s signal this late within the season, and for the still-alive chase for the one seed.

2. Jayson Tatum adopted up his dominant efficiency in Milwaukee with one other nice recreation. Tatum was notably efficient in bailing out Boston within the second half, regardless of dealing with a barrage of double-teams.

This possession was a multitude, and Jaylen Brown most likely ought to have been referred to as for 3 seconds, however Tatum bailed it out with a 3:

Top-of-the-line methods to beat a double-team is to shoot earlier than it will get there:

This one went virtually as deep into the shot-clock because it might, however Tatum didn’t panic late-clock:

This was one other late-clock shot and it clinched the win for Boston:

This was greater than only a second straight nice recreation for Tatum. He’s been excellent in his final 5 video games performed. The Boston star has averaged 35.4 factors, 8.6 rebounds and three.0 assists, whereas placing collectively 60/49/83 taking pictures splits, because the Celtics have gone 4-1.

3. Marcus Good did a fantastic job of setting the Celtics up all recreation lengthy. He’s turn out to be a backdoor passing maestro as of late.

It wasn’t fairly as clear of a end as we’re used to, however Good finds Jaylen Brown via the backdoor on a transition play at the least as soon as per recreation:

On this play, Juan Toscano-Anderson is top-locking Jayson Tatum, as a result of he doesn’t need him to make use of the display screen to get one other three. Together with his defender leveraged and the ball in Good’s palms, Tatum is off via the backdoor for a dunk:

And generally Good units up the protection to attain himself. This was a extremely nifty ball-fake to get the wrong-footed layup:

4. Derrick White bounced again with a very nice recreation on each ends of the ground. He helped maintain Talen Horton-Tucker in test, till similar late-game free throws, and he was stable as a scorer too.

It is a good move by Jaylen Brown, as he attracts the second defender, and pull from White:

White did job right here of getting baseline on his man and absorbing the contact earlier than dropping within the and-1 floater:

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Generally hustling is sufficient to get your self a basket:

5. A superb measure of how Boston is enjoying is assists to baskets ratio. This one featured 27 dimes on 42 hoops. One other good measure is how these assists are coming. If it’s through the drive-and-kick recreation, then the Celtics are most likely doing properly.

It is a good reduce by Blake Griffin, earlier than taking a bounce within the lane and delivering the behind-the-head move to Marcus Good within the nook:

Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams have proven creating chemistry all season. It is a nice kickout from Brogdon to Williams:

Slightly later, Brogdon did job of moving into the protection to assist open up Williams once more:

6. Talking of fellows like Blake Griffin, Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams: Boston’s bench actually stepped up on this one. Jaylen Brown had an off-night shooting-wise, which was lengthy overdue. Al Horford and Rob Williams obtained a relaxation day. That left quite a lot of minutes for the bench gamers, and so they delivered. Even Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet and Mike Muscala ran some efficient minutes, regardless of some lesser stat-lines.

7. Grant Williams appears to be rounding again into type after a prolonged midseason hunch. That’s a really welcomed improvement for Boston.

Ideally, Williams simply lays this in, however cautious of the shot-blocker, he hit a pleasant little fallaway right here:

On the subsequent journey, Williams received the 50-50 ball and located Jayson Tatum for a dunk:

A bit later, when nobody picks him up as he tried to reset the offense, Williams referred to as his personal quantity:

This was a heads-up play to finish the third quarter. Williams is aware of the Jazz are going to leap Sam Hauser on the handoff off the inbounds play. Williams fakes the handoff and takes it in for the dunk himself:

8. Malcolm Brogdon is superb as utilizing transition screens. If the protection jumps him, he’s good about placing his head down and moving into the paint. If the protection lays again, because the Jazz do right here, Brogdon is glad to pullup for the triple:

If the defender leans even barely the improper approach, Brogdon is breaking him right down to get to the rim:

9. Blake Griffin is getting his personal Takeaway, as a result of he’s had a exceptional season. Griffin doesn’t play all that repeatedly, however he’s fairly efficient every time Joe Mazzulla calls his quantity. On this one, Griffin scored six factors, grabbed 12 rebounds (5 offensive) and handed out 5 assists.

In a second of accountability, your creator will admit that I didn’t count on a lot from the Griffin signing. However he’s been a fantastic presence within the locker room, and a productive participant on the court docket. You’ll be able to’t ask for something extra for a veteran minimal signing.

10. Due to the NBA’s quirk of scheduling only a few video games in competitors with the NCAA Last 4, the Celtics have three consecutive days off. Saturday is a real time off. That’s the primary one for the reason that All-Star break. However Sunday and Monday will probably be a possibility for some observe time. That’s nice at the moment of yr.

With 4 video games over the season’s closing week, Boston nonetheless has rather a lot to play for. They’ve reduce into Milwaukee’s lead. If the Bucks stumble, the Celtics can nonetheless catch them. With a 2.5-game lead over Philadelphia, and the tiebreaker, Boston nearly has the 2 seed wrapped up. With a victory over the 76ers on Tuesday, Boston can actually lock that down.

4 video games left for seeding and rhythm. The playoffs are virtually right here.

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