The Boston Celtics were walking into Wednesday’s night matchup against Milwaukee with their backs against the wall. The Celtics were going into the contest without Enes Kanter and Jaylen Brown, who was going to be the man to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo for the majority of the game.
Boston was going to be without one of their top scorers and perimeter defenders and one of the best rebounders in the league. Since Milwaukee is considered one of the best, if not the best, teams in the East, Boston was in for a long night.
The Bucks came out swinging right away and led the Celtics by as many as 19 points in the first half. The Celtics looked uninspired and showed little to no effort on both ends of the floor. Giannis was doing Giannis things, and Khris Middleton was doing what he does best: killing the Celtics.
Then once the second half came around, the Celtics completely turned the game around. They outscored Milwaukee by 20 points in the third quarter and took a four-point lead going into the fourth. They scored 74 points during the second half after scoring just 42 during the first half.
Jayson Tatum scored 11 points in the quarter after shooting just 2-10 during the first half. Gordon Hayward scored 10 points in the quarter after a slow start himself.
The highlight of the quarter was Jayson Tatum hitting a stepback three in the final seconds and giving Paul Pierce a high-five as he ran by.
After that, the rest was history. The TD Garden was electric and the Celtics had all the momentum on their side. They erased a 19-point deficit and defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105. This was a statement victory from Boston, considering they were missing two of their starters from opening night and going up against the reigning MVP and one of the top tier teams in the NBA.
Let me say this: to anybody who was slandering Gordon Hayward in the first half and kept saying he needed to be traded, you don’t watch much Celtics’ basketball. Gordon Hayward has looked fantastic for Boston in their first four games and recorded his first 20 and 10 game for the Celtics last night. He’s averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game while posting impressive shooting stats.
Hayward is also looking much more confident driving to the basket compared to last year. He’s averaging 12.8 drives per game, which leads the team. Last year he averaged only 5.7 drivers per game.
Jayson Tatum looked impressive once again last night, despite shooting poorly from the field in the first half. He finished with 25 points (20 in the second half) on 10-22 shooting and went 4-7 from three. He hit big shots in the fourth quarter and was one of the biggest reasons Boston got back into the game.
Kemba Walker has scored 32 points in back-to-back games and broke the franchise record for most points scored in their first four games as a member of the Celtics (98). This stat is pretty impressive, considering he shot only 7-19 from the field last night and is only shooting 40% through four games.
Despite his shooting struggles, he looks comfortable on this team and isn’t afraid to keep shooting. He’s averaging 24.5 points per game and is showing Boston fans why Danny Ainge and the Celtics signed him in free agency.
I’m pretty confident when I say that the Boston Celtics are back. They look like a completely different team compared to last year and are having fun in the process. They’re making game-winning plays, are playing team basketball, and look comfortable playing with one another. Last year’s team would’ve never won last night’s game and would’ve given up at halftime.
This team just has a different feel to it, and I believe they’re going to go a lot further than people think they will. I’ve been saying that this team will surprise a lot of people and they’re starting to show us why. They still have some things to work on and will adjust as the season goes on, but so far I love what I’ve seen from the Celtics.
Once this team starts to actually hit their shots like they did in the second half last night, they’re going to be scary good. They’re 3-1 now and have a relatively easy schedule ahead of them before their next big matchup against the Clippers on November 20th.
The Celtics will go up against the Knicks, Cavaliers, Hornets, Spurs, Mavericks, Wizards, Warriors, Kings, and Suns before battling Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Before that game, I think this team can put together a nice win streak, build momentum, and continue to impress fans as they go. The chemistry will continue to grow, and that’s exciting because it already looks pretty good right now.
The season is young, but Boston is looking like a team that will be competing with the best of them in the Eastern Conference. This is going to be fun.
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