The Celtics Obliterate the Warriors and Look More Impressive Than They Have All Season
Boston, MA– The Orlando Magic currently have a reputation as the most unpredictable team in the NBA after having quality wins against the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors that followed abysmal losses against the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls. However, the Boston Celtics might be encroaching on their status, as their games are also proving to be completely unpredictable, especially as evidenced by last night's demolition of the Warriors, widely considered to be the NBA's Goliath.
After a six game stretch during which the Celtics' only victory came against the Washington Wizards, things were not looking too good as the Celtics, with a mediocre road record, traveled to the Bay Area to take on the Warriors. Add in some choice comments of distress from players like Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown and the fact that Golden State's Kevin Durant would be returning to in-game action after some rest, and it seemed like the Warriors were primed to mop the floor with the Celtics.
But Golden State underestimated Boston, and the Celtics made them pay with some quality defense to hold the high-flying Warriors offense to just 95 points. The offense added some of the best performances of the entire Celtics' season, as Brown and Jayson Tatum combined for 35 points, Irving posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 assists, and Gordon Hayward dropped a shocking 30 points off the bench.
The argument can be made that the Celtics (and especially Hayward) were due for breakout games, with the poorly-performing Hayward remarking that the long plane ride helped the Celtics out of their funk, both in terms of chemistry and in on-the-court performance. Still, I can't help but feel like we've heard this story before.
The Celtics are talented and this could be the moment where they flip a switch into high gear with the playoffs around the corner. But I'm not going to hold my breath. The Celtics have proven that they can have big games from their star players that lead to the best wins of the season and then quickly squander that goodwill with some sort of demoralizing loss. If they can string a couple more of these wins together, then the Celtics might just be back in the fray. But for now, the victory over the Warriors is just something to build on. Hopefully.