2016-17 NBA Season Week 3 Recap: Boston Celtics
We’re 3 weeks into the season and we still have barely seen the Celtics roster that was highly anticipated this summer. Every team has its early season woes, it’s just a matter of whether you have the natural talent in the lineup to come out of the game with a win. Minus 2 of their starters for the past 8 games, that just hasn’t been the case for Boston. IT4 continues to look every part of an all-star, averaging 27.2 pts per game, but without Crowder and Horford the defense and rebounding just hasn’t been there. Despite their struggles, the Celtics were still able to come out of this week with a 3-1 record. But man, that one loss was bad.
First, we beat the breaks off the Knicks, which is to be expected. To be honest, the game was kind of wack because referee Tony Brothers was just throwing people out for fun. He ejected both Melo and Brandon Jennings for basically doing nothing, and the game lost any luster that it once had. But this was definitely one of the more convincing wins the C’s have had on the season, and looked to be a step in the right direction.
Although there were rumors about a Horford return in Indiana, the all-star Center sat out another game with concussion symptoms. The Pacers were without Paul George, so the C’s caught a break two games in a row with no Crowder. Boston ended up winning, but it wasn’t a win to be proud of. They fell into their old habits of getting out-muscled for boards, and forgot how to contest shots for some reason. But defensive plays down the stretch by Avery Bradley sealed the game.
The worst loss of the season by far was on Monday to the Pelicans. Nobody loses to the Pelicans. I don’t care who’s injured, and I don’t care if Anthony Davis scores 81 points. Again, the issue this season has never been offense; we put up over 100 every game. But the defense and rebounding has just been uninspiring. I felt bad for IT, you can tell he desperately wanted Crowder and Horford back on the court to help right the ship.
After stringing together several games of not playing the Celtics’ brand of basketball, they finally looked like themselves Wednesday night at home against the Mavericks. They only scored 39 points in the first half, but anyone with eyes could tell you that was the best half they’ve played all season. They finally looked like the bully in the game for once, and Avery Bradley continues to have a career year. He only had 2 double-doubles in his entire career prior to this season, and now he has 6 in his first 11 games. The team called a players only meeting prior to this game to discuss their recent losses, and it looks like it had the positive affect it was intended to have. Next up is a primetime game Friday night against free-agent target Kevin Durant and the new look Warriors. Call me crazy, but I’d expect to hear to boo’s in the Garden for KD.