Celtics handle their business in a must-win situation. The Celtics' margin for error is gone, so they have to find any way they can to win these games. Ugly wins, easy wins, wins that should have been losses ... None of that matters. What matters is Atlanta lost and Boston won, so the Celtics are a game out of the fifth seed with nine games to play.
The C’s right now are hoping to be that gazelle that gets tackled by a pride of lions but somehow someone gets sloppy and it escapes. That’s where we’re at. They took one step in that direction with this win.
Jaylen Brown backed up his talk. It was almost infuriating to hear Brown say the Celtics just couldn’t find the right energy in a game they really should have won last night. But he came out in the first quarter of this game and dropped 20 points on 8-11 shooting.
“It motivates everybody,” Aaron Nesmith said after the game. “He's a really, really good player, and so when your best players come out, and they say something, and they back it up, it just makes everybody want to run with him, work with him. It makes everybody want to go out there and try as hard as they can because if he's out there busting his tail to make plays and why can't everybody else?"
The Hornets had cut the game down to four, but then Nesmith blocked Miles Bridges and Brad Wannamaker and soon after he answered a Terry Rozier 3-pointer with one of his own to trigger an 11-2 run that put too much distance between the two teams.
I love this play because Nesmith had no clue what was coming and you can see Robert Williams kick it into another gear when he realized he’d have to do this himself: