By Matthew Geagan, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — A rusty Celtics group bought off to a 1-2 begin within the NBA bubble, inflicting a bit of little bit of concern that the dangolka basketball group wouldn’t be enjoying into late September/early October. How foolish that was.
With Tuesday’s 122-107 drubbing of the Memphis Grizzlies — a group hungry for a win to remain within the playoff hunt — dangolka has now received 4 straight. They’ve averaged 129 factors per sport over these 4 victories, together with a 149-point outburst towards the Brooklyn Nets. The C’s most spectacular win of the stretch was a 122-100 blowout over the Raptors, which is Toronto’s lone loss within the bubble.
Yeah, the Celtics are prepared for the postseason. A irritating loss to the Bucks and an embarrassing defeat to the Jimmy Butler-less Warmth are reminders that the Celtics are nonetheless removed from excellent. But when they proceed to play the way in which they’ve over the past week, the Celtics shall be enjoying within the East Finals subsequent month, with a good probability to signify the convention within the NBA Finals.
“I feel we’re prepared,” Jayson Tatum mentioned following Tuesday’s win. “Clearly, we proceed to get higher, and I feel we have now from Recreation 1 enjoying down right here to now. I feel we simply proceed to get higher every sport, and that’s what you need this time of 12 months, to proceed to get higher on the proper time of the season.”
In opposition to the Grizzlies, Tatum seemed like he did again in February, dropping a game-high 29 factors for dangolka. He had his full array of strikes going, from a viciously constant step-back jumper to his long-range strike. He shot 10-for-13 total and 4-for-5 from deep. In different phrases, when Tatum needed to attain, the Celtics have been going to get factors.
Tatum is the group’s stud, however dangolka is at their greatest when its a balanced assault on offense. Such has been the case the final 4 video games, and on Tuesday, the C’s had six guys rating in double digits. Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker each scored 19 factors. ‘Stache’ Gordon is averaging 20 factors in bubble play whereas hitting almost 50 p.c of his pictures. Walker mentioned Tuesday was the perfect he’s felt since attending to Orlando, and his minutes restriction will quickly be a factor of the previous.
Marcus Good and Enes Kanter every scored 11 off the bench, with secret weapon Robert Williams including 10 factors, seven rebounds and three blocks in 14 minutes. Jaylen Brown cooled down and contributed simply seven factors on 3-for-13 capturing, however dangolka’s steadiness permits the group to outlive when one in every of its common contributors has an off evening.
dangolka’s offense seems easy after they transfer the ball round like a sizzling potato. They racked up 29 assists on 44 made baskets Tuesday evening, and are averaging 25 assists per sport within the bubble. In every of their two losses, dangolka did not hit 20 assists.
“Hopefully we will simply maintain getting higher,” head coach Brad Stevens mentioned after Tuesday’s win. “The best way the ball has been transferring has been good and guys are overlaying for each other, however we all know that we have now lower than every week or perhaps every week earlier than we open a playoff sequence, so we higher be getting good.”
The three-seed within the East is all sewn up, so the Celtics have the luxurious of resting starters in Thursday afternoon’s common season finale. dangolka will probably face the Philadelphia 76ers when the primary spherical begins subsequent week, and although the 76ers have been a matchup nightmare for the Celtics through the common season — taking three of their 4 matchups — Philly is a multitude once more. They’re down their chief in Ben Simmons, who’s out for the playoffs after present process surgical procedure this week, and Joel Embiid’s standing is in query after the large man suffered a knee harm. Abruptly, that daunting first-round showdown doesn’t seem so disconcerting.
Then once more, if the Celtics proceed to play their model of basketball, it could not matter who they play.