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HomeBasketballGet the broom: 10 Takeaways from Celtics/Knicks

Get the broom: 10 Takeaways from Celtics/Knicks


#1 Enjoying at a excessive stage

It’s at all times straightforward to say this after a win, however the Boston Celtics have begun taking their manufacturing to a brand new stage. With the All-Star break behind us, it is sensible that Joe Mazzulla’s staff would start discovering a brand new gear. It’s anticipated. It’s required.

Discovering that gear in simply your second sport after the break, although? Properly, that’s encouraging, to say the least. The Celtics manipulate groups. They put them in binds on either side of the ground. After which, they wait. They strike as quickly as they see the opposite staff’s heads begin to drop or really feel the momentum start to construct.

Towards the New York Knicks, that strike got here within the third quarter. The Celtics outscored the Knicks by 9 factors. They dished out 7 extra assists. They usually torched New York from the three-point line, going 9-of-13 from deep with six gamers scoring not less than one three-ball.

All through the published, there was a lot discuss surrounding Jayson Tatum’s endurance. He was incomes reward for a way he feels the sport and let’s it come to him. I agree. He ought to be receiving reward for that.

However I believe the complete Celtics roster is enjoying a cerebral model of basketball. We noticed it from the opening tip towards New York, and we’ll most likely see it once more when Boston faces the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

#2 Jaylen Brown regarded unstoppable

Jaylen Brown’s first-quarter scoring has been a subject on these takeaways all season. When he’s aggressive from the leap, we see one of the best model of him all through the sport. Heading into the All-Star break, Brown took his foot off the gasoline in these early exchanges, with Kristaps Porzingis selecting up the slack. Nevertheless, towards the Knicks, he was again to his finest.

For me, that is when you already know Brown is cooking. It’s not the three-point pull-ups. It’s not the sleek finger rolls across the rim. It’s the mid-range fadeaway jumpers. That’s his go-to counter. That’s his “I’m feeling myself” transfer. And, when these photographs fall, the protection begins to query how finest to protect him, opening up his bodily drives to the rim, just like the one under.

His scoring outburst didn’t cease within the first quarter, although. Brown his 5 extra photographs within the second, three within the third, and one within the fourth. Solely three of his makes got here on the perimeter, which, given his inside scoring potential and his position as a featured scorer, is simply high-quality.

I preferred this play. Not due to the dunk however due to how clean Brown regarded along with his crossover and the way he angled Isaiah Hartenstein out of the possession. The dunk was only a good exclamation level on the end.

Exterior of his scoring, Brown was additionally an element on the glass, grabbing eight boards, and he dished out three assists. But, I actually preferred his total protection. He rotated nicely, jumped passing lanes and dealt with himself nicely on switches. It was an entire efficiency from Brown from begin to end. He gave the Celtics a dependable scoring choice at any time when they regarded to stress the rim or assault the mid-range.

#3 Kristaps Porzingis is a nightmare matchup

Knicks followers know Porzingis all too nicely. They know what he can do. Nevertheless, this model of Porzingis is a model that Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Wizards followers not often get to see. Why? As a result of he’s loving life with the Celtics. He’s enjoying as a 3rd choice that may scale right into a secondary or major choice, relying on what the sport’s calling for. His position is fluid, and that’s permitting him to have fluidity in his total efficiency.

That’s a 7-foot-2 large man hitting a Dirk Nowitski fadeaway by way of a one-dribble step-back within the mid-range. That’s Porizngis having enjoyable. That’s a type of photographs the place you ask your self, “How is anybody supposed to protect this?”

In the course of the sport, Porzingis scored two across the rim; he had one on the nail, one on the elbow, and three from deep. Scoring versatility is what makes Porzingis such a novel weapon, and it’s why he’s made the Celtics’ offense so unpredictable.

Then, on the opposite facet of the ground, Porzingis offers you rim safety and dimension. He boasts good hip flexibility, so he can change instructions at tempo. He excels in drop however may also be dependable in guarding the perimeter. He contests photographs with out leaving his toes, making it simpler for him to recuperate when opponents drive a close-out.

All of these wrinkles in his sport had been on show on Saturday night time. And that’s earlier than we even start speaking about his passing out of the publish and the endurance he reveals when drawing two and in search of the cutter.

Enjoying the Knicks undoubtedly comes with slightly further spice for Porzingis. But, he handles it nicely and performs throughout the confines of Boston’s system. He’s a real X-Issue. I doubt this would be the final time I say that between now and the tip of the season.

#4 Gettin’ Nerdy With It: “Chin Ricky”

There’s fairly a little bit of X’s and O’s terminology sprinkled into the remaining takeaways. Please be at liberty to take a look at the glossary in the event you’re involved in any of the issues we focus on in these takeaways.

The final time I noticed the Celtics run this motion was towards the Knicks, and even then, it was by way of a slice display moderately than a “Chin motion.” It was their second assembly of the season, which occurred again on Nov. 14. Since then, I haven’t noticed it being run — which doesn’t imply it hasn’t — it simply means I haven’t famous it down.

However, I just like the motion loads. It offers the Celtics optionality off the catch and may create scoring alternatives on a number of ranges of the ground.

To begin with, right here is an annotated model of the play from that sport in November so we are able to have a very good really feel for a way “Ricky” works.

Now now we have that down; right here’s the way it appears to be like when coming by way of a “chin motion.”

Credit score to Bojan Bogdanovic; he defended the motion nicely and navigated Al Horford’s re-screen with a veteran’s poise. As such, a number of the benefits this kind of play would create rapidly dissipated. Nonetheless, Tatum discovered a solution to make issues work. He put the ball on the ground, created area and drove the hole.

Tatum’s shot didn’t fall, however his willingness to assault and embrace contact allowed him to safe the foul name and get to the road.

#5 Horford performs his position

Generally, it’s straightforward to miss what Horford brings off the bench. He’s by no means been a “leap out of the display” performer. He performs his position. He does the little issues. And now and again, he has a flurry of possessions that will get the gang fired up.

Towards the Knicks, Horford had a typical Horford sport — quiet however efficient. He rebounded nicely. He managed the angles on protection. And his screening created the separation his teammates wanted, each across the perimeter and on the inside.

But, he additionally acquired himself some buckets. With out Mitchell Robinson, New York is working with a make-shift big-man rotation. That allowed Horford to remind everybody that he can nonetheless rating with ease, particularly out of the publish or when attacking the rim.

Right here, Boston goes with an empty-side pick-and-roll between Horford and Payton Pritchard. Horford mirrors Pritchard’s drive, will get a dominant place within the publish, and finishes the play after receiving a dump-off go after the protection has dedicated to Pritchard’s probing penetration.

This time, Horford faces up on Bogdanovic, drops his shoulder, creates a driving angle and finishes with a nifty reverse. He’s 36 years outdated, keep in mind. But age doesn’t appear to be an element for Horford in the mean time, as he’s nonetheless a dependable member of the rotation on either side of the ground. The Knicks discovered that out the exhausting manner.

#6 Jrue Vacation’s swiss-army knife strategy

Jrue Vacation’s position is tough to pinpoint. One minute, he appears to be like just like the defensive quarterback and designated defensive event-maker. The subsequent, he’s pulling down threes in transition or recognizing up within the nook. Or, he’s orchestrating play within the half-court. That versatility is extremely robust to take care of.

How do you guard a participant whose position is constantly morphing all through a sport?

It might have been early within the sport, however this defensive motion was certainly one of my favourite moments from Vacation. The Knicks go into one thing out of their “floppy” sequence. Vacation is tasked with being the “chaser” on Jalen Brunson. He sticks along with his man, will get proper onto his hips because the DHO is about to happen, and pokes the ball unfastened. Earlier than you already know it, the Knicks have seven seconds to get into a brand new set and rating. Nice protection.

Then, on offense, Vacation’s nook three is turning into a legit weapon, particularly when he’s on the weakside and the protection over-commits to the motion in entrance of them.

Vacation ended the sport with six dimes to his identify, too. He managed the tempo when working because the ball-handler. He saved the rock shifting when enjoying throughout the system. And he wasn’t afraid to assault gaps as they introduced themselves. You possibly can’t understate how he’s helped elevate the Celtics this season, or on this occasion, all through their win over the Knicks.

#7 Gettin’ Nerdy With It Half 2: “Chin Break up”

This was an attention-grabbing play. We all know the Celtics wish to run a bunch of various variations out of their “Chin Collection.” Including within the principals from a break up minimize after the display to set off the chin motion is sensible. It’s additionally easy: Brown chin cuts towards the publish, Vacation splits off across the perimeter and receives the DHO.

From there, Vacation assaults off the dribble and powers his solution to the rim for the lay-in.

#8 Derrick White, additionally a Swiss military knife

If we’re going to reward Vacation for his versatile position and efficiency, each for this season and in Saturday’s sport towards the Knicks, now we have to do the identical for Derrick White. At occasions, it looks like the 2 are a bundle deal. They each scale their roles. If one has it happening offense, the opposite turns into extra defensive minded, then, when obligatory, they change.

White ended the sport with 13 factors, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and a pair of steals. He shot 3-of-5 from deep and 5-of-8 total. He defended. He rotated. He minimize. He screened. And he performed his sport. There’s no hero ball with White. It’s simply straight-up hoopin’.

Right here’s an ideal instance of how White can impression an offense.

He begins off by “UCLA Slicing” from the perimeter. He then units a “Flex” display for Tatum on the strongside nook. As Tatum cuts and his defender follows with him, White pops out onto the perimeter. He receives the go from Vacation, along with his defender now guarding on the three-point line.

A display from Porzingis triggers an empty-side pick-and-roll motion. White rejects the screens, assaults the area from the empty facet (which he helped clear with the Flex display) and will get a floater off to punish his defender, who’s enjoying too tightly on his hips.

White, like Vacation, brings variety to the Celtics. His presence is a chilled issue. His protection and shot-contesting potential continues to be underrated. He’s a core member of the rotation. At occasions, the Knicks struggled along with his motion and flexibility. It’s nice to look at.

#9 A strong shot food plan

The Celtics took 81 photographs towards the Knicks. 35 of these photographs got here from three-point vary. The remainder got here from the mid-range and across the rim. For many who have been calling for slightly extra stability in how the Celtics strategy offense, this sport is probably going what they had been speaking about.

In any case, the Celtics had been cooking from deep. Their photographs had been falling at an unbelievable charge. But, they continued to stress the rim and punish any area within the mid-range. They attacked gaps, they punished area, and so they took one of the best shot accessible, no matter the place that was on the ground.

Boston Celtics shot chart vs. New York Knicks

Boston Celtics shot chart vs. New York Knicks
stats.nba.com

The analysis of Boston’s shot food plan is encouraging, particularly if they will stick with it shifting ahead.

#10 Defensive rebounding needs to be a spotlight

At occasions, it’s straightforward to see why the Celtics are one of the best rebounding staff within the league. Then, you’ll have a sequence or a few sequences the place they’re giving up a flurry of boards on the identical possession. It occurs. You possibly can’t be good on a regular basis. Nevertheless, making some extent of controlling the glass has been a key a part of the Celtics’ success this season.

As such, it is sensible that they proceed to double down when defending their rim and attempt to restrict these flurries as a lot as doable. If they will do this, they’re going to be extremely robust to beat on a night-to-night foundation, which, let’s be trustworthy, they already are.

Trying forward

The Celtics are again in motion on Tuesday. They face the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid continues to be out with harm. However, Boston can’t take their foot off the gasoline. The perfect factor this staff can do is preserve stacking wins and constructing momentum. As at all times, I’m excited to see how the sport unfolds, and I’ll be right here on Wednesday morning with the takeaways.

Till then, take pleasure in your Sunday and have a terrific begin to the week!

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