Image C/O: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
The Celtics finally returned home from a road trip where they struggled heavily. The C’s lost to the Pelicans, Hawks, and Mavericks on the three game road trip with all three opponents not in a position to make the playoffs at the time. Their first game back on the parquet was against the Pacers. PG Kemba Walker played like his old self as he put up 32pts on Indy from 10/19 shooting, leading the C’s to a close 118-112 victory over the team.
After a day break, the Wizards come to town on a hot streak. At the time they had won 7 of their last 8, one of those games being against Boston. In a tight, down to the wire game, it ended up being All-Star SF Jayson Tatum carrying the team with 31pts, leading them past Bradley Beal and his 46pts. Key defensive plays down the stretch boosted the team in a 111-110 victory over Washington.
In a true test on their ability to regain composure, the Celtics faced off against the Clippers in a great matchup at the Garden. NBA Superstar Khawi Leonard was absent from this battle, but the Clippers still looked like the dominant team that they’ve cemented themselves as. Four of the five Celtics starters came out of the fight with double digit points as the Celtics once again stop a late game rally and defeat the Clips in a 117-112 game.
In their final game before the break, the Celtics take on Toronto who have been playing very inconsistent as well this year. Injuries plagued both teams so far, but the Raps were coming off of some recent rest after COVID tracing had postponed recent games. In this back and forth battle, the Celtics took a decent lead mid-3rd quarter and ran away with it until the final minutes as expected. The end was filled with free-throws thanks to Toronto closing the gap to a 3-point game with two minutes to go. Both Boston All-Stars combine for 48pts and defeat Toronto in a 132-125 game.
Prior to the game in Toronto, both of the Celtics All-Stars were drafted to their respected All-Star teams. The All-Star game is being played under both Team LeBron and Team Durant and it is sad to say that both Tatum and Brown will be playing against each other. Tatum was drafted as a started to KD’s team with former teammate Kyrie Irving on the roster as well, and Brown was drafted under Team LeBron as a reserve for the game. Last year’s game was the most competitive All-Star game in the last 10 years, and with the same motivations and organizations behind the game, fans hope to see the same level of greatness this year. The game will be at 8PM on Sunday Night in Atlanta.
As for the Celtics, they finish the first half of the season in 4th place in the East, only five games behind the Sixers and Nets who are battling it out for first. The C’s return to action and kick off the second half of their season against Brooklyn on Thursday night at the Barclays Center. By then, hopefully we can see SG Marcus Smart in uniform again.