Celts Torch Nets with Historic Offensive Performance
The Boston Celtics burned down all of the nets in front of them on Wednesday night.
Those of both the string and the human variety.
Whatever type of net stood in front of Boston was burned by the team’s historically hot score.
The Celtics are tied for their highest scoring quarterback in 30 years losing 46 to the visiting Brooklyn Nets in Wednesday’s first game. The hosts swung to offensive perfection on the first tip, as they splashed home their first eight 3-pointers of the night and shot 62.1% overall in the first quarter.
This near-perfection continued until late in the third quarter, when Boston was leading 110-72 and each team retired their starters from the game.
“I like the way we came out,” said Jayson Tatum, who scored a game-high 31 points in just 29 minutes. “Obviously we shot the ball well, but it’s our focus on the game plan and playing the right way. You could tell we were ready from the jump.
This state of mind continued until the final buzzer. Boston’s reserves did their best to follow the tone their starters had set. The bench came in and shot 50 percent in the fourth quarter while adding six 3-pointers to the team’s total. It gave the Celtics 26-for-3 on the night, which set a new record for most games made by any team inside TD Garden.
“I thought we chose to be aggressive on both sides of the court,” interim head coach Joe Mazzulla said of the dominating performance. “So we weren’t reactive; we have been proactive only in our approach at both ends.
That’s exactly what Mazzulla wanted to see after Boston’s three days off before Wednesday’s contest. The first two days were used as rest days, but the third, Tuesday, was spent refining the team’s play on both sides. And boy, did that sharpening session work.
“It was a great carryover from yesterday’s practice to today’s game in terms of what we highlighted,” Mazzulla said.
Pressed further to reveal what, exactly, the team highlighted on Tuesday and then executed on Wednesday, the coach shared a few more details.
“Offensively, our spacing in the first six to eight seconds (of the shot clock) was very, very good,” he said. “We had a big goal in our early offensive reads, to figure out where the game was and what we wanted to get into. And we had a nice gap in the last 12 seconds of the shot clock… Defensively, we were just proactive. We were aggressive. »
Brooklyn had no response to this aggression at any time during the game. It was a blowout from start to finish, and one that featured a long list of strong performances from Celtics players.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 57 points after each 7-for-12 shot from long range. Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon combined for 26 of their own on 10-for-17 shooting. Reserve center Luke Kornet even stepped in, scoring 12 points in just 18 minutes of action.
It was starting center Robert Williams, however, who revealed the greatness of Boston’s offense.
Williams returned from a one-game absence to put on a masterful performance that consisted of a season-high 16 points to go along with nine rebounds and one blocked shot. It was his presence and activity, both in pick-and-roll and on the glass, that turned the Celtics into an unstoppable force.
“He created voids. He created little 2-on-1s,” Mazzulla said of Williams. “He did a great job against the little ones on the attacking glass.”
Williams, in other words, is the one who created many of the open looks the Celtics had throughout the night. Then they made them – a lot – by burning down all the nets on the pitch.