Tag Archives: Al Horford

The Celtics Latest Performance(s) and Our Expectations of Them

I have neglected my beloved Celtics for some time now, I know. Maybe because the very idea of not seeing Kyrie break ankles for the rest of the season devastates me. Or because I don’t get to see Marcus Smart’s energy and routine sacrifices on defense. It could be because one of our most dynamic bigs (who also happens to be a 25-year old rookie) has been and will be out for the rest of the season. Quite possibly—it could be all three. mass live KI, MS JB

Stepping Up Big

My depression of key pieces lost should not take away from what this team has been able to do in their absence. Since March 11th, which we can argue is when everyone started dropping like flies, the guys are 5-3. One of those losses was a thrilling double-OT against the Wizards, which was hard fought. The wins included another thriller against OKC and a come-from-behind-rally in the fourth against Portland. So who do we have to thank?

  • Al Horford: I’m not going to give you his stat line for this period because it doesn’t matter, not really. All that matters is what he brings to this team, especially when Kyrie isn’t there. This athletic PF can play C AND run an offense, which is the most important in this case. He doesn’t always have to give you 15 points to make a difference.
  • Jayson Tatum: the rookie had been climbing his way out of his slump and it looks like he’s back to early season form. His stat line for the last eight games: 17.5 pts, 2.4 ast, 6.6 rbs, and shooting 50% from the floor.
  • Terry Rozier: Its not surprise this guy continues to have an impact. He stepped up the first time Kyrie had to sit out, recording a triple-double in his first career start. Not to mention the very next game he recorded a career-high 31 points. Well, he topped that in the game against the Kings by recording 33 points. His last eight games: 18.3 pts, 4.4 ast, 6 rbs, and shooting 40% from the floor.
  • Marcus Morris: this guy has always been our dark horse. People are still surprised boston cbslocal celticsto see when he is a top scorer for the team or when he hits the game winning three. I’m not sure why because his style of play is the reason why we wanted him in the first place. His last 7 games (missed one due to an ankle): 19.7 pts, 5.6 rbs, and shooting 51% from the floor.
  • Greg Monroe: special shout out to Moose Monroe and his last eight games: 11.5 pts, 6.6 rbs, and shooting 52% from the floor. I knew he would be a great addition to the team and he’s been getting it done in the paint/post for us. Let’s hope it continues.
  • Brad Stevens: just four words–> COACH OF THE YEAR. That’s all.

I pointed out specific members of the team, but of course there are others who contribute in important ways as well. Together they succeed, not individually.

But What Expectations Should We Have?

I mentioned this a bit before in another (very) short article but I will say it again. This team has already exceeded the expectations of everyone. When Gordon Hayward went down, no one thought the Celtics would subsequently go on a 16-game win streak and hold the top spot in the East for the majority of the season. But they did, and I couldn’t be more proud. So with that being said, I’m going to be realistic. This team could more than likely make it past a first round match up and depending on the opponent, maybe a second. Though, I’m not really looking for them  to have some sort of Cinderella not really) run like they did last year. It should be seen as an opportunity to gain experience in a play off atmosphere for those who haven’t experienced it yet. So, for those who are saddened by the multiple injuries, don’t be. What has happened this season wasn’t even supposed to. But yes, we will continue to support our Celtics for as long as they stay alive. And we will also get excited for what’s to come next season: healthy roster full of talented young players.

Watch the Celtics go for 5 straight tonight against the Jazz on ESPN/ NBC Sports Boston.

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A Fresh Start

The Celtics came home on Friday to host the Orlando Magic after a heartbreaking loss in Miami on Wednesday, which ended their win streak at 16. It was looking like a blow-out, with the Cs leading by as much as 30 points at one point. They ended up winning 118-103. The defense did reign supreme, despite the score (which was due to a handful of threes by Speights). All of the Orlando starters were held to under 15 points, and so was their bench.

Kyrie Irving scored 17 of his 30 points in the first half, in which the Celtics put up a whopping 73 points. Jaylen Brown added 13 of his own and the bench contributed 49, which is they’ve produced this season. Terry Rozier scored a career high 23 points and Aron Baynes had himself a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds). And although I wanted more offensive production from Al Horford in terms of points, he was able to boost the offense without doing so. He had 10 assists, getting his teammates the ball and getting back to Celtic’s basketball.

All of the starters were able to play under 30 minutes last night, which is fantastic considering they lay again tonight in their first back-to-back of the season. They will head to Indiana to face the Pacers, who have won five straight. The Pacers may be without Oladipo, as he left last night’s game with a knee injury. The Cs will be without Marcus Morris and possibly Jaylen Brown. Morris will not travel with the team and rest is knee, while Brown will be attending his friend’s funeral. He said if he doesn’t make it back in time he won’t play; I say just give him the day off. He needs it and definitely deserves it.

Celtics @ Pacers tonight @ 8. Will the Cs end the Pacers streak? Tune in to find out

Seeking 12th Straight

The Celtics defeated Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets Friday night 90-87 to grab their 11th straight win. It was a hard fought matchup, as the Celtics were without Horford for the second straight game due to concussion and they lost Irving early after taking an elbow to the head. He was held out for the rest of the game to be monitored for concussion–like symptoms, breaking the hearts of many Celtics fans. The team was down 57-41 at halftime and it was looking bleak. But they were able to rally and outscore the Hornets in the third and fourth quarters to win the game. Shane Larkin stepped up and had 16 points off the bench, while Jayson Tatum returned to add his own 16.

The Celtics host the Raptors at 3:30 today. Al Horford will be back for the Cs, while Irving will sit out. He sustained a minor facial fracture after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from teammate Aron Baynes and will be fitted for a mask. The Celtics look to extend their win streak to 12 without Irving and show people once again that they can get the job done without (a) key player(s).