After experiencing Kevin Durant’s offensive explosion, the Celtics trailed by only three points in the third quarter of the Christmas game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Then Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart sat on the bench. Both committed four fouls. The game was completely out of control. In the final 17 minutes, the Nets led the Boston team by 25 points and won 123-95.
These are five gains since Brooklyn beat Boston for the second time in a row.
The Nets may be the best team in the NBA so far.
Don’t let the final score fool you: the Celtics were much better in Friday’s preseason than a week ago. Jaylen Brown’s outstanding performance gave the Boston team a half-time lead, and the team̵
The Nets are really good, any small mistakes can become a big problem. Last Friday, this disappointment began at the beginning of the third quarter when Kevin Durant punished the Celtics for defending the Celtics. Durant only shot 6 goals in the first half. He scored 4 consecutive baskets in the third inning and assisted in the fifth. The Boston defense tried to suppress it, but at that time, the gift had been opened and there was no gift receipt. The Celtics stepped back several times, but Kyrie Irving kicked the goal violently to 37 points on the way.
“We have to be precise in everything we do,” Marcus Smart said. “We have to do our best because they force you to do it. They force you to be almost perfect, and you have to respect this.”
The Nets scorers can improve their strength and provide strong backup. Many things can happen in a season, but Brooklyn seems ready to make some noise.
Brad Stevens said: “They are very capable of pouring it on.” “I think this is the strongest team in the NBA, and… of course the best conversation. We know that we have a lot of work to do. It’s clear. And we know what we’re fighting for. It’s nice to know.”
Officials called fouls on the seal screen widely used by Jayson Tatum last year.
In the first half, the referee whistled twice at the Celtics big man to set up the SEALs’ screen-roll out the rim from the pick and roll and then stopped when Tatum drove to the rim. Brad Stevens performed well and technically advocated the play, winning many points for Boston last year.
Tatum told reporters last year: “I got a lot of things from Tessie setting up screens, sealing devices and the like,” “I always make sure I want to say thank you.”
The initial screen gave Tatum an advantage against his defenders, and by stopping in the paint, the rolling big man prevented his defenders from helping. This opens up enough daylight for Tatum to allow it to cruise to the edge. If the SEAL screen is illegal now, the Celtics will need to find another way to buy Tatum’s layup.
“I really don’t understand,” Tatum said. “Rolling and sealing, I don’t think it makes much difference if they roll to catch the ball. But I think the referee will watch the tape and emphasize the tape, so we have to adjust.”
Jaylen Brown became a bright spot again.
Brown looked like a resilient player, and the resilient forward entered the NBA, booing to the Celtics fans who wanted Jimmy Butler. He shot hard and became an excellent three-point shooter (although he won 4-0 against Brooklyn). Now, he also seems to have found a way to improve his feelings.
This feeling was expressed in several different ways in the first two games in Boston. Most notably, Brown is abandoning a pass he has never had before.
Jaylen Brown skipped the pick and roll to pass. that’s nice. ew. pic.twitter.com/cLqWwETbGJ
-Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) December 25, 2020
Paint corner passes are really important, especially for players who are operating more in the pick and roll than ever before. In many ways, Brown acts like a major player. Brown was considered a power forward by some smart basketball people two years ago. He is running Brad Stevens’s favorite dribble handoff. He meanders around the screen, trapping the defender on his back or hip. After missing an opportunity to try to lead the Celtics rally, his shooting percentage dropped to Brooklyn, but Brown has been the best player in consecutive games for a team that desperately needs him this season.
The Celtics’ half-court offense failed.
Against the Bucks, the Celtics’ ability to find a good offense beyond transfer opportunities is crucial. According to the report of “Clean Glass”, Boston averaged 108.7 points per 100 possessions in the half game. However, this number plummeted to 78.7 last Friday.
Of course, the main missing item is Kemba Walker. This situation does not appear until the beginning of January at best, and at worst it may become the theme of the entire regular season as the Celtics try to stay healthy in the playoffs. Walker can probe defense and scoring at these three levels, which relieves the pressure on other Boston stars when the team can’t get fast break points.
But the Nets managed to limit Tatum (no free throw opportunities in the regular season) to 22 points and only 20 points. Except for Brown and Smart, none of the Celtics scored in double digits. To make matters worse, Brooklyn leads Boston 17-7 in fast break points and surpasses Boston 38-25 in reserve points.
Nevertheless, a game is not a whole season, and Brown is confident in the direction of the team’s offense.
Brown said: “I think the offense has made great progress.” “Obviously, I think we have played good basketball for about three and a half seasons, but the shooting ability of these guys puts a lot of pressure on us, and we must stick to it. There is still a lot of growth, there is a lot of learning in front of us, but I am looking forward to it.”
Payton Pritchard looks more comfortable.
To end the holiday, the Celtics played both Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith. Among rookies, Pritchard is particularly at ease. He shot a deep three, shot 3 of 5 from the floor, and dug out a pair of steals. If Pritchard proves to be a reliable choice, then the Celtics’ bench will become more stable until Walker returns.
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