This is more like this: 10 Takeaways from Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards
1. For the first time this season, 2022-23 Boston Celtics he looked like the final version of last season’s Boston Celtics. The offense did more than enough, but the real payback was the defense. This was the first time this season the Celtics put him on defense for 48 minutes.
The Washington Wizards he shot 38.8% from the field, including just 7-for-32 on 3-pointers. If it hadn’t been for some trash filler, Washington might not have cracked the mid-80s in points.
Simply put: These are the Celtics we’ve been waiting for.
2. Boston got things started early on offense. First play of the game, in fact. This is a good set to open the game. Jaylen Brown takes a first loop off the double screen of Al Horford and Jayson Tatum. When the defense takes care of it, it goes right back to a second double screen, this time with Tatum going for an open three:
After hitting his first jumper, Tatum is ready for more. Kristaps Porzingis has to drop back in transition so Tatum doesn’t blow him to the rim. Porzingis also relies on his own length to get out. But Tatum himself is pretty long, and has a great release, so the late contest doesn’t faze him:
3. Jaylen Brown wasn’t far behind Jayson Tatum when it came to going late on the scoreboard. Because Brown is making jumpers at a high rate, he draws tough closeouts like the one he gets here from Monte Morris. With the floor so well spaced, including Kristaps Porzingis on Al Horford’s floor, Brown has an easy rim attack:
This play is a good example of Brown’s improved handling, as well as his patience. Brown uses a crossover to get Kyle Kuzma moving, but also uses an extra left dribble to get Kuzma to lean. This extra lefty bounce opens up the edge spin:
4. It’s also pretty funny when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown throw each other for a play. This prompted TD Garden:
5. Early season Celtics have shown a shot to beat the buzzer. They did it twice more in this one. First, it was Grant Williams from an awkward angle late in the first quarter:
Then Jayson Tatum had this gorgeous left-handed bullet pass to Malcolm Brogdon to beat the halftime buzzer:
We use this site to call Brogdon. He was very good in this game with 23 points in 23 minutes off the bench. They weren’t just jumpers either. Brogdon was able to go down for a few layups and also drew eight free throw attempts. Good stuff for the Celtics sixth man.
6. Boston returned to turnover: The entire defensive aspect that defined last year’s team. Communication was good, players were on the ball and Washington got very few uncontested looks.
Defensive rebounding remains an issue. There will be some offensive boards available when your opponent misses a whopping 60 shots. But allowing 15 offensive rebounds (25%) is simply too much. The main issue remains that the guards and wings need to block better and help the bigs on the glass.
7. Speaking of that good defense, here are three reserves making good plays. Sam Hauser on an island against Bradley Beal should be a plus for Washington. Hauser does a great job of keeping Beal in front of him before contesting the jumper:
Closing out on shooters has been a challenge so far this season. Not here. Great closing and blog by Grant Williams:
Luke Kornet earned minutes in this one playing very well against him Cleveland Cavaliers last time out That’s a good thing about Kornet. Takes off the reel, before going vertical against Will Barton, only to drop his hands late for the block:
8. The Celtics had the ball moving very well in this one. That play had come after Washington scored a run to make it a game. Instead of Boston panicking and going into ISO ball, they played their game. Drive, kick, swing is the best offense for this team. Nice paint attack by Jaylen Brown, followed by a nice pass from Derrick White to Al Horford:
Grant Williams draws those hard closes now. He has shown the ability to attack them off the bounce. This was a nice boost for Brown:
Once again, he hits the paint, sets the defense on the move and finds the open man. This is just good basketball:
9. Back to Luke Kornet, because he showed why the Celtics have so much faith in him in this game. There was a good chance Kornet would have started the season opener, or been the backup center, if he hadn’t gotten hurt early in training camp. Now, he is finding his form.
Kornet could (should?) be a little more aggressive trying to score at the rim. But it’s hard to argue with a kick to a wide open Grant Williams in the corner:
And that was basically the caper. A side step triple fake? The Green Kornet strikes!
This UniKornet crime on Unicorn brought TD Garden to its feet to celebrate a victory.
10. The Celtics needed a game like this. They showed they still have it defensively and can take a worse team and run them out of the gym. It was also nice to see the boys in green respond to a run without falling apart.
Joe Mazzulla was also able to keep minutes down because of the blowout. No one exceeded 30 minutes. Boston now has a couple of days off before a stretch of three games in four days to close out the week.
Have a safe and happy Halloween filled with only treats and no tricks!
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