Good morning! Let's dissect five leftover thoughts on the C's comeback thriller, which has left them on top of the NBA with an 11-2 record, while the Nets and Cavs are somehow tied with a 5-7 record in the bottom half of the East.
- Lots of huge contributions in Friday's win, but Jayson Tatum's poise down the stretch really stood out to me. He knew he had a big mismatch while facing off against Cody Zeller and abused him for several baskets in the fourth quarter, despite being hobbled with a sore ankle this week. "I don’t really think about it too much," Tatum said of his 16 points after the game. "You’re just out there competing and trying to find a way to win the game." Lots of modesty from the 19-year-old who is somehow this team's third or fourth offensive option when everyone's healthy, which is just an embarrassment of riches for Danny Ainge.
- The win overshadowed a little debacle in the second quarter when Guerschon Yabusele failed to execute the hack-a-Howard on one possession and then fouled the big man inside of the final two minutes of a quarter away from the ball, showing a lack of awareness of the NBA rule that penalizes the hacking strategy at the end of the quarter. Brad Stevens put the blame on himself after the game for Yabusele's mistake in what I feel like was a classy move to stick up for his inexperienced rookie: “What that really boils down to is horrible coaching. Because he should know what he’s supposed to do when he goes in and he should know when he can’t do it. So that’s not his fault, it’s ours.”
- The Celtics' defense is still the best in the NBA, allowing just 94.8 points per 100 possessions after a tenacious second-half effort last night. Only three teams in the league are allowing under 100 points per 100 possessions, and the next closest team (the Thunder) are still three points higher than Boston.
- Jaylen Brown had an awful shooting night, but his career-high 13 rebounds were big on a night that the C's bigs were busy boxing out Dwight Howard. Brown is second on the team now in rebounds per game (7.2), and he's grabbing boards at the same rate at Terry Rozier. He deserves serious praise for the leap he's made in this area during his second season.
- Pretty cool tidbit from last night: Stevens telling the Celtics in the huddle at the start of the fourth quarter that they were going to win this game if they got some stops: "I remember during a timeout and Coach had said, 'We're going to win this game and this place is going to go crazy," Terry Rozier said. "We were definitely down. We were down probably like 15. [Stevens] knew that we were going to win the game and the crowd was going to feed into it. It was going to be crazy, and that's exactly what happened." Just another highlight for Stevens to add to his coach of the year resume.
Weekly schedule (subject to change, due to travel, of course):
Mondays: Sean McAdam - Red Sox/MLB.
Tuesdays: Christopher Price - Patriots/NFL.
Wednesdays: Brian Robb - Celtics/NBA.
Thursdays: Joe McDonald - Bruins/NHL.
Fridays: Greg Bedard, Noon - Patriots/NFL/BSJ.
And away we go...
Celtics are off and Patriots are in Denver.
7:00 p.m.:Maple Leafs at Bruins, NESN (McDonald)
This might be the best offensive sequence of Larkin's career:
Shane Larkin : Season-high 16 points on 5-8 shooting, 2-3 from 3 & 4-4 from the FT line in 17 minutes off the bench pic.twitter.com/iYu8WfWgrF
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) November 11, 2017
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