If you were watching the Celtics game last night, no doubt you almost had a heart attack as you watched this game go into OT. Kyrie Irving had 47 points (10 in OT) and Jaylen Brown had 22, while Tatum and Smart (yes, Marcus Smart) added 15 and 12 of their own.
Let’s be real, this was not a well-played game except for the first and the fourth quarter (and OT obviously). On the offensive side of the ball, shots just weren’t falling for the second unit, and that’s what really killed the Cs. Brad left them out there a little bit longer than he wanted, but I think it was because he wanted to see if they could find a rhythm. That unfortunately was not the case and once again it was Kyrie to the rescue. But I don’t want to overlook the effort of the defense. Though they gave up more points than they wanted to, they kept the Mavericks well under 30% three-point shooting (21.2% to be exact) and 40% overall. The defense of the three was key last night (because the Mavs love to shoot threes) and the Celtics were successful in doing so, along with dropping 13 of their own.
The Celtics know that other teams are going to be coming for them EXTRA hard to try and spoil this streak (which is the fourth longest in Cs history). The Mavs gave them everything they had but came up short in the fourth/OT. The Cs head to Miami Wednesday night to play the Heat, who they already defeated 96-90 in October. The Heat have been a bit sporadic lately and recently lost at home to the Pacer 120-95. But make no mistake, they saw that Mavs game and will be looking for their own spoil of the streak.
If the Celtics want to avoid what happened in Dallas, they MUST shoot better, and specifically the second unit. They’re not going to be able to defend every possession without giving up points, so there needs to be some scoring to offset that. Rozier needs to find his stride and get those baskets, and they’re going to need more than just rebounds from Baynes and Thies. But most importantly, Al Horford needs to start heating up again. He has been ice cold the past two games, combining for only 10 points. Though he has had 14 rebounds and 13 assists, there needs to be more offensive production from him. And of course, the team needs to continue to play DEFENSE. Oh, and another thing that wouldn’t hurt: practicing free throws (Jaylen and Marcus *cough cough*). If you’re going to draw the foul and get to the line, you need to hit the free throws (I still love these guys though).
Watch the Celtics go for 17 straight Wednesday @ 7:30 pm!