Boston, MA - With the amount that the Boston Celtics have failed to live up to the weighty expectations ascribed to them going into the season and with the way they have been unable to separate themselves from the pack as one of the NBA's elite, anyone would be surprised to learn that the Celtics are just four and a half games behind the dominant Toronto Raptors in both the Atlantic Division and in the Eastern Conference. At this, Boston is just one game back of the Philadelphia 76ers in the division, as well. The season hasn't looked great so far, but it's also far from over.
And now, the Celtics are beginning to put together yet another winning streak on the season. After their victories over the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks, the Celtics defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 116-95, and then the Indiana Pacers, 135-108. It was a string of very impressive victories that saw Boston finally take command on the offensive side of the ball against a competitive, 27-14 Pacers team. These wins propelled Boston to a 25-15 record and a great deal more confidence going forward.
Against the Nets on Monday, Kyrie Irving returned from his eye injury to once again lead the team in scoring with seventeen points, but he also added six assists. The other Celtics starters, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford, all reached double digits, as did Terry Rozier and Daniel Theis off the bench.
The rout over the Pacers yesterday was led by Marcus Morris, who dropped twenty-two points and grabbed eight rebounds from the starting lineup. The lineup matched the one against the Nets, but Morris' strong efforts in the blowout were also supported by Boston's young duo, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as they scored twenty and twenty-two points, respectively. Brown's performance was even more impressive, considering it came off the bench.
Boston will have a chance to extend their winning streak to five in a row with tonight's game against the lowly Miami Heat!