Flying excessive: 10 Takeaways from Boston Celtics-Charlotte Hornets

1. Make no mistake, the Charlotte Hornets are a foul workforce. That being mentioned, the Boston Celtics utterly demolished them. This recreation was by no means shut. On an evening the place Boston was with out Jaylen Brown and Al Horford for upkeep/relaxation days and on a back-to-back, the one query was what number of factors the Celtics have been going placed on the board and the way a lot they might win by.

Boston is now inside a hair of capturing 50% from the sector (49.6%) and 40% on three-pointers (40.3%) for the season. That’s by no means been executed earlier than in NBA historical past. The Celtics offensive score is 121.5. That’s 4.4 factors higher than the second place Phoenix Suns. For reference, that’s as massive a distinction as there may be between Phoenix and the tenth place Indiana Pacers.

Malcolm Brogdon mentioned it’s “a deal with” to play with this Boston Celtics workforce. They’ve been a deal with to look at, as nicely. Each night time it appears to get slightly higher from an offensive standpoint. And the protection is displaying loads of indicators of having the ability to lock in when they should.

A deal with, certainly.

2. Jayson Tatum took a uncommon night time off on Sunday. He was again it and it appeared good proper from the soar on this one. Tatum scored 16 factors within the first eight minutes of the sport, and he did it largely by getting downhill.

If there’s something to nitpick with Tatum’s recreation this season, it’s that he’s at a career-low 34.7% from behind the arc. However that’s been greater than offset by a career-best 80.7% on the rim and a career-high 8.5 free throw makes an attempt per recreation. Historical past tells us the jumper will come round ultimately, which makes the improved inside recreation that rather more thrilling.

Tatum has lastly put collectively the complete package deal of utilizing his measurement, size, energy and talent to complete on the cup. This play begins with Tatum fronting the put up. After the steal, he sprints the ground earlier than pinning and overpowering Theo Maledon for the layup:

Fairly repeatedly now, Tatum is simply larger and higher than the blokes making an attempt to defend him:

The talent is there too. For a sure subset of CelticsBlog readers that complain Tatum has no lefthand, how’s this switch-hands end give you the results you want?

Charlotte was on a 9-0 run at this level within the recreation. They weren’t threatening, however had the run continued, the sport may have gotten slightly attention-grabbing. Tatum was having none of it. This play loudly completed off the Hornets:

3. Within the preseason, it was evident that Malcolm Brogdon was going to present the Celtics precisely what that they had missed in the course of the run to the Finals final season. “Regular” is one of the best adjective to explain Brogdon’s play so far. And that’s precisely what Boston wanted off the bench.

That is good things from Brogdon, Marcus Good and Jayson Tatum. Brogdon does an excellent job getting spaced to the alternative wing, Tatum makes a wise reduce into simply sufficient of a display screen and Good is on-time with the go:

Brogdon has additionally higher at attacking the paint than many thought. It is a good instance of his persistence on the drive, earlier than utilizing the step-through for the layup:

4. You’ll see all through the clips that Marcus Good piled up assists final night time. A career-high 15 of them. Good additionally hit 6-of-9 three-pointers, making him the primary Celtic to hit six triples in the identical recreation the place he handed out 15 assists.

Good is in full management of the offense. He will get slightly wild and fancy at occasions, however he’s choosing and selecting when to take these probabilities. Extra typically, he’s simply attending to his spots to make performs as a passer or scorer, like this lefty end off the lengthy stride:

This pocket go out of pick-and-roll was the prettiest dime of the night time from Good:

After a lot consternation, even probably the most ardent Good Haters need to begrudgingly admit he’s taking part in nice. If they’ll’t, there’s no hope left for them. Marcus Good is to be beloved and trusted.

5. With Jaylen Brown and Al Horford sitting, there have been accessible minutes for another guys. As soon as once more, Boston’s bench stepped up.

The reserves mixed for 51 factors, with Malcolm Brogdon, Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet offering 41 of them. It was one other night time for the Celtics to indicate they’ve acquired strong depth, they usually delivered.

6. Simply the most important shock out of the backups was Blake Griffin. He acquired the decision to start out with Al Horford resting, and Griffin confirmed he’s nonetheless acquired one thing left within the tank.

The veteran large man opened the scoring with a jumper, as Horford so typically does:

Later within the first half, Griffin threw it again to his highflying Dunk Contest champion days:

To finish the primary half, Griffin powered one other one by means of off a pleasant drop-off from Malcolm Brogdon:

Past the highlights, Griffin received the Boston crowd along with his all-out effort performs. He took two fees and dove on the ground for unfastened balls on a number of totally different events. Celtics followers will cheer talent and scoring, however they love effort and coronary heart. Griffin put all of it on show on Monday night time.

7. Luke Kornet once more noticed large minutes and he was productive once more. He completed with 9 factors, eight rebounds and a block. The Korntest additionally labored on a few possessions too.

This was an excellent play, as a result of Kornet learn it and easily beat everybody else to the ball for the massive comply with:

This entire play is an instance of how enjoyable the Celtics are proper now. Grant Williams will get on the ground for the steal, Jayson Tatum makes the short outlet, and Marcus Good lobs it to Kornet for the alley-oop end:

Stick with the top of the clip to see Kornet’s homage to Stromile Swift too!

8. Drive-and-kick is the secret for the Celtics. They like to get the protection in rotation earlier than discovering a shooter. Everybody retains ready for the three-point capturing to drop off, however when the seems are this good, which may not occur.

Boston likes to run this set with a faux display screen right into a reverse pin-down the place Jayson Tatum screens for the massive man to come out. It’s often run for Al Horford, however right here it’s Grant Williams. When the defender closes laborious, Williams drives the closeout earlier than kicking to Derrick White for the nook three:

Somewhat later within the first quarter, as a result of White runs the ground laborious because the trailer in transition, the protection collapse to him. That leaves Tatum wide-open on the arc:

It’s quite simple, however extremely efficient basketball and it’s stunning to look at.

9. We all the time spotlight when a brand new Celtic will get their first hoop whereas sporting the inexperienced. Mfiondu Kabengele made his Celtics debut and got here up with a spotlight end for his first Boston bucket:

10. The Celtics are streaking once more. They’ve received 4 straight, as they’ve picked up victories in every recreation to open this six-game homestand. Subsequent up is a mini-series because the Miami Warmth head to Boston for 2 video games.

It is a good check for the Celtics, because the Warmth are lastly getting wholesome. And Miami has brought on Boston all kinds of hassle over time. However these aren’t the identical Celtics. They’re taking part in with a distinct degree of confidence and talent than we’ve seen earlier than. We’ll see if that carries over to Wednesday.