The Celtics lost a close game to the Rockets 107-106 last night. Horford had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but his layup rolled off the rim. Now as upsetting as this loss is there is a lot of good to take from this win.
Horford is living up to the hype:
Horford played one of his best games of the season last night. Lets start by looking at Horfords stats last night.
As you can see Horford did a little bit of everything for Boston. He impacted the game on both ends but the stats really don’t tell the story of just how good he played. He stabilized our offense and made it run efficiently. Horford played most of the game working off the high pick and roll and would then move his way down into the post. This took a lot of pressure off Isaiah Thomas and allowed him to have favorable matchups all game. I understand people’s frustration with him missing games this year and even him missing the game winner last night but Horford is finally beginning to settle in and he is going to be a problem for the rest of the league.
The Celtics bench has hit stride:
This team is finally healthy and we finally are getting to see just how deep this team is. The bench scored 31 points in this game and really weathered the storm while the starters struggled. Marcus Smart was the leading scorer off the bench and seemed to make big plays all night. Whether it was his block on Harrell or him drawing the flagrant on Harden late Smart always makes plays when they need to be made. The Celtics finally seem to have found spark plugs off their bench in Brown and Rozier. Both of these guys are young and energetic and can change the tempo of the game. Rozier is becoming more of a complete point guard and Brown just seems to not be scared of any moment. Rozier and Brown both played crucial minutes and were efficient during their time. Don’t sleep on these two because they are proving that they deserve to play more and more each game. The sky is the limit for both of these young players. You pair everything I said above with veterans Tyler Zeller and Gerald Green and this bench is shaping up to be one of the best in the league.
The Celtics are getting their swagger back:
What has made this team fun to watch these past few seasons? It has certainly been the swagger they carry with them. That we aren’t going to take any crap from anyone type attitude has made them tough to deal with every night. Guys like Crowder and Smart are the enforcers on the court. Getting under guys’ skin and just physically beating down opponents has made them so tough for opponents they play against. You pair those guys with the competitive natures of Thomas and Bradley and you have yourself a team that no one wants to deal with. So far this season we have not seen that swagger from this Celtics team. They have looked disjointed and not like they were out there fighting for one another. We didn’t see the Celtics bring that same intensity that we saw last year. I began to see signs of that team last night and it was the reason they played so well.
Celtic fans buckle up because this Celtics team is about to take off. The Celtics are finally healthy and are beginning to find their identity. They are finally playing hard on both ends and are starting to finally look like a team. I think we are going to look back on this game in a few weeks and say that is the game it all started to come together. The Celtics are currently 3rd in the east and haven’t even began to scratch the surface of how good this team can become. With all the talent they have and such a great coach at the helm the Celtics can be as good as they want to be this season.Celtics