Takeaways from Boston’s Victory Over the Phoenix Suns

The Boston Celtics defeated the Phoenix Suns 117-103 in their second scrimmage game. This team looked a lot better than they did during their first scrimmage, and here are my takeaways from the Celtics victory.

Jayson Tatum started the game slow once again. After going 1-6 during his first outing, he finished this game with 16 points on 6-17 shooting. Yes, the shooting numbers weren’t pretty, but he found his groove and looked a lot better out there today than he did on Friday. He hit some pretty ridiculous shots, too.

I’m happy to see that Tatum shook the rust off.

Is Jaylen Brown the best player on the Celtics? He’s definitely been their best player during their first two scrimmage games. He finished with 21 points on 7-13 shooting and looked dominant against Phoenix. He was hitting turnaround jumpers, pull up threes, and getting and-ones like a beast. He looked unguardable at times and had full control of the game. I keep saying he’s going to make the biggest impact for the C’s, and he continues to prove my point. Brown is going to be huge for Boston come playoff time.

Marcus Smart looked the best he’s been all season. Seriously. He was making smart decisions (no pun intended), was making some crazy passes, and, most importantly, didn’t take any dumb threes. He was one of the best players on the court today, and if he continues to play like he did today, Boston is going to be pretty hard to beat.

Kemba Walker is back! He only played nine minutes, but that’s all we should’ve expected to see from him. He came out hot right out of the gates with an and-one finish and looked great during his small run with the team. He finished with six points, and it was encouraging to see Walker out there knowing his knee seems to be nearly back to full strength. Now we wait to see how much he plays the next game.

Gordon Hayward finished the game with a sneaky 17 points. He didn’t score his first bucket until there were only three minutes left in the first half, so most of his scoring came in the third quarter. Both Jaylen and Jayson were doing a majority of the scoring during the first half, so Hayward started to light it up once they began to “cool down.”

The rookies Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters all looked solid during their time on the court today. Langford finished with nine points and played great on both ends of the court. Fun fact: Langford leads the team with a 102.1 defensive rating. That’s something we shouldn’t sleep on.

Tremont didn’t get as many minutes as thought he would, but he continued to look sharp with his passes and decision making. Waters still deserves to be the backup point guard for this team ahead of Wanamaker.

The only lousy takeaway from this game for me was how atrocious the defense looked at times. They looked terrible getting back on fast breaks, and the interior defense was very weak. I think Robert Williams can help a ton in that department, but he needs to play more minutes and show that he can make an impact off the bench for this team.

If the Celtics play defense like they did today, they won’t have a shot against dominant big men like Anthony Davis or Joel Embiid. They were also leaving shooters open on the perimeter, and they let them pay for that. Boston needs to clean up their defense, which I’m assuming they will before they face off against Milwaukee, but they didn’t look good today.

Overall, this game was a vast improvement compared to their first game. They finished the game with 49/39 splits compared to the 44/21 splits they had against OKC. Jayson Tatum looked more improved, Jaylen Brown continued to dominate, and Kemba Walker looked great and healthy. There’s not much more I can ask for.


Photo: David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

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