Celtics Notebook: Hot Start After All-Star Breakby Patrick Mulligan March 1, 2018 0 comments
The Celtics went to Detroit out of the break and came away with a 110-98 win. Daniel Theis lead the way with 19 points off the bench while Ish Smith had 20 points for the Pistons.
Next, the Celtics traveled to Madison Square Garden for a matchup with the Knicks, leaving with a 121-112 win. Kyrie Irving continued his hot streak, tallying 31 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists in the victory. Trey Burke led New York with 26 points.
The Celtics returned home on Tuesday and beat the Grizzlies 109-98 behind 25 points from Irving. JaMychal Green added 21 points for Memphis.
Irving stayed hot in the Celtics’ matchup with the Hornets, pouring in 34 points in the 134-106 win. Aron Baynes also contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kemba Walker had 23 points for Charlotte.
Baynes anchors defense
The box score may not always show it, but Aron Baynes has been a difference maker for the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics have the league-best defensive rating of 92, but with Baynes on the floor that rating goes up to 96.5. The Celtics are also outscoring opponents by 13 points per 100 possessions when he’s in the lineup.
“I think the biggest thing is he’s just a really good team defender,” Brad Stevens said. “He made a huge difference. I think he’s one of the biggest reasons why our defensive numbers are where they are and he doesn’t care if he gets credit for them.”
Celtics happy to have All-Star break
The Celtics lost three straight games before the All-Star break, giving up a combined 347 points in those three games. After the break, though, the Celtics have been back on track.
Since returning, they have won all four games they’ve played and Marcus Morris believes the break was a much-needed rest that can spark this team for the rest of the season.
“It’s not even about basketball always,” Morris said. “It’s the mental aspect of the game. You get the chance to see your family, get the chance to just not think about basketball all the time. People don’t see that side of it. Sometimes, it gets to you. Game after game. Traveling and staying in different hotels. It gets to you. I think, especially for the younger dudes who haven’t been in this situation, I think the break really benefited them. Just time to take a deep breath and look forward to the playoffs.”
Next 7 Days at a Glance
Saturday, March 3 at 8:30 p.m. @ Houston Rockets
Monday, March 5 at 8 p.m. @ Chicago Bulls