Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images
By Patrick Whalen
Yes fellow Celtic fans, after 13 games the Celtics that we all expected to watch this season finally showed up Wednesday night as they blew out the Chicago Bulls by a score of 111-82. The Celtics looked utterly dominate as they returned to the garden for the first time in 5 games. This kind of game is exactly what the Celtics needed after a 1-4 road trip to get them back on track.
It was great to see the Celtics get back to playing the way we’ve been accustomed to seeing as the ball movement was good and the defense finally returned. Holding the Bulls to 39% shooting and 30% from 3 and forcing 22 turnovers it looked like the 2 days of rest allowed the Celtics to refocus on defense. The offense for the Celtics also got back on track with all 5 starters scoring double digits and Terry scoring double digits off the bench. It was also promising to see the 3 ball start falling for the Celtics as they made 15 as a team while shooting 44% from downtown, but the thing I was most pleased with was the ball movement. The Celtics had 27 assists as a team last night which was a great sign as they only had 1 game on their road trip with more assists, 31 in Utah, and only averaged 23 assists as a team on the trip (Basketball-Reference.com). Also with the Celtics forcing turnovers they were able to get out on the fastbreak and allowed Kyrie to get show off buckets.
Also, another highlight of the night was late in the third quarter when Marcus Smart hit a 3 to move into 10th all-time in Celtics history for 3 pointers made. Yes, you read that correctly Marcus Smart is top 10 in three-pointers made in Celtics history. This is the same Marcus Smart that I cringe at when he pulls up from three most of the time. But congrats to Smart for passing Eddie House who people forget could shoot with the best of them.
After seeing the top 10 list it’s actually insane how good the 07-10 Celtics were from downtown with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Eddie House all in the franchises top 10 until the other night.
Overall it was a great night and a much-needed win for the Celtics. The defense stepped up and the starters were sharing the ball as Jaylen led the way with 18 points followed by Kyrie with 17, Tatum with 14, Hayward with 11 and Al with 10 (Basketball-Reference.com). If the Celtics can play that brand of defense consistently and get somewhat close to that kind of production from the starters they can become that team everyone anticipated to run the eastern conference. Even more, promising for the Celtics is that they should be getting Marcus Morris back for Friday for a pivotal game against the Raptors as he missed Wednesday’s game with an illness.