BSJ Game Report: Celtics 116, Hornets 86 – C’s did exactly what they needed to do

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know about the Celtics 116-86 win over the Hornets, with BSJ insight and analysis.

Box Score

This was almost a perfect game. The first quarter was tight, but the second and third fueled a monster blowout and made this an almost perfect win for Boston. They...

  • Blew out a shorthanded team missing three very important players
  • Generated a lot of good looks on offense
  • Forced turnovers (17) and scored off those (15 points)
  • Were able to limit their core players to 28 minutes or less

“We didn’t do it perfect, but we did navigate it to the point where we’re not too far away from where we need to be on both ends of the floor,” Brad Stevens said. “It’s one game. But if we structurally can continue to improve offensively and we can play defense at the intensity level of the last – most of the last really four games. ... the goal would be that we can be a handful. I don’t know what that means, but we could be hard to beat. That’s what we’ll keep shooting for.”

The offense is humming. Boston is now up to the 8th-best offense in the NBA since the All-Star break (115.4 offensive rating). They’re doing it by emphasizing the backdoor cuts and using those to generate a lot of 3-pointers.

“It’s just another avenue to get a paint threat,” Stevens said. Teams worried about the cuts suddenly back off a little, and that allows the rest of their offense to flow. Boston’s 54 3-point attempts was the second-highest output of the season. 

Romeo Langford made his debut. He only played 12 minutes and was fine. He hit a 3. He tried to defend. Nothing remarkable, but it’s notable in that Romeo does, indeed, exist.