Six straight wins: 10 Takeaways from Boston Celtics-Minnesota Timberwolves

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1. One other recreation towards one other playoff crew and one other Boston Celtics blowout win. The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t the Wolves we’re used to. This model is fairly good. They’ve truly rivaled Boston atop most metrics during the last month, together with file.

The Celtics didn’t appear to care all that a lot.

This 22-3 stretch has lifted Boston to first place within the Jap Convention. The various runaways throughout that stretch has upped the Celtics scoring margin to +6.8. That’s now second within the NBA behind solely the Phoenix Suns, who’ve been dominant all season.

2. We’ve to begin right here, as a result of an important takeaway is that Robert Williams acquired damage. As of this writing, we don’t know the severity of what the Celtics are calling a sprained left knee. Williams exited late within the third quarter and was dominated out for the night time shortly thereafter.

Ime Udoka stated Williams was not sure when he acquired damage, however that following the sport he was in “fairly a little bit of ache.” Boston already dominated Williams out for the back-to-back in Toronto on Monday.

When he was in there, Williams was efficient. This play right here is why Udoka has him enjoying that off-ball roamer position:

Williams continues to scrub issues up on the offense glass. That is good exercise to get the and-1 off the offensive rebound:

And now we maintain our collective breath as we await the inevitable information on how lengthy the Celtics will probably be with out their gifted younger massive man.

3. The Celtics have climbed as much as eighth in offensive score. An enormous a part of that’s pushing the ball to seek out simple offense in transition. Marcus Good discovering Jaylen Brown on a backdoor minimize earlier than the protection is ready is turning into a daily factor:

Good additionally does a very good job with the hit-ahead go to seek out mismatches like this:

And if you embrace chaos, issues like this occur:

4. Payton Pritchard is so dialed in that he may throw a watermelon by way of a keyhole proper now. The second-year sniper went 3-for-5 from deep to lift his three-point proportion to 41.5% on the season. Pritchard is de facto good about attending to his spots and patiently ready. That is additionally a high-level learn from Jayson Tatum to whip it to the nook:

Pritchard and Derrick White have developed a very good chemistry. Pritchard made the exhausting push and when White drove the closeout, Pritchard relocated for the three:

5. Within the first quarter, Karl-Anthony Cities took benefit of Al Horford being out. Cities scored 12 factors on 5-of-8 capturing. For the remainder of the sport, Boston held the All-Star middle to only seven factors on 3-of-7 capturing.

Grant Williams did the majority of the defending towards Cities, however with foul hassle and the absence of Horford hurting the Celtics bigs, Jayson Tatum stepped up too. Tatum defended Cities for 15 possessions. Throughout that point, Cities went 0-for-4 and turned it over as soon as.

The Celtics additionally blended in a variation of double-teams and Daniel Theis pitched in one-on-one too. However Tatum stepping as much as defend the Wolves greatest participant was additional proof that he’s deserving of MVP votes and an All-NBA First Group nod.

6. On the top of the ground the place everybody is aware of Jayson Tatum is de facto good, he delivered. It is a coast-to-coast play the place Tatum reminds everybody who the most effective participant on the ground is:

And the way a few four-point play to finish the third quarter and principally end the Wolves off with an entire interval to play?

7. Derrick White is shaking off that capturing hunch he had been in. He’s gone 13-of-26 from the ground during the last three video games, together with 5-of-12 from three.

Right here’s White and Payton Pritchard teaming up for a steal. Then White proves once more that he’s one of many craftier finishers the Celtics have, as he paused to attract the and-1:

In case you watch this clip with out sound, you’ll be able to hear Tommy Heinsohn chortling with utter glee. Marcus Good pushes, White catches and passes with out ever hitting the bottom for Daniel Theis to get the dunk:

8. Aaron Nesmith was the enjoying time beneficiary with Al Horford out and Nesmith made probably the most of it. This was considered one of his basic “Crash” performs. Nesmith retains the rebound alive and finally ends up with the end:

This play truly began the Good-White-Theis lob from the earlier takeaway, however it was so good from Nesmith that he will get his personal for his half. After Jayson Tatum’s coast-to-coast dunk, the Wolves pushed in transition. Taurean Prince thinks he has a straightforward layup, however Nesmith has different concepts:

That is actually good things from Nesmith too. He may have shot this, however he sees the lane to assault the rim earlier than he even catches the ball. Nesmith additionally does a very good job utilizing the rim to guard the shot by going to the reverse:

9. We’re closing with this one, as a result of that is the kind of stuff you are able to do if you’re demolishing everybody on a nightly foundation:

10. The Celtics are off to Toronto to face the Raptors on the second night time of a back-to-back. As of this writing, we have now no actual thought who will play in that recreation on Monday night time.

And that’s okay!

Sure, Boston simply moved into first place, however well being issues greater than seeding. We all know Robert Williams is out. Al Horford doesn’t sound prone to play as he handles a private matter. Each Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum made reference to sore knees after the sport. Each stated they’d be high quality, however it was sufficient to land them on the harm report earlier than Sunday’s recreation.

Don’t be stunned if it is a throwaway, schedule loss second for Ime Udoka. Nobody will care if the Celtics are the highest seed in the event that they aren’t wholesome when the playoffs begin. This might be an evening to throw one away, let the youngsters play quite a bit and get again to work on Wednesday towards the Miami Warmth.

Then once more, these Celtics appear to embrace adversity and relish the struggle. Both means, don’t get too labored up if Monday night time doesn’t go Boston’s means. Preserve the long-term in thoughts over the short-term.

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