Of their first matchup since Sport 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors confronted off final evening on the Chase Middle in San Francisco. What ensued was an underwhelming effort from the Celtics as they fell to the Warriors, 123-107.
The one takeaway from the Celtics final evening was it was the primary evening they didn’t really feel like themselves. The primary time it simply felt like they weren’t doing what they do. Warriors protection was locked in however the tempo/tempo/motion did not really feel the identical.
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) December 11, 2022
Boston appeared out of types, and it felt like the burden of the second obtained to them. With all the issues they’ve executed properly this season seemingly forgotten, the loss gave flashbacks of their Finals collapse, and all of these previous ghosts got here to life. Most notably, Jayson Tatum struggled below the Warriors protection, as they continued to throw our bodies and double protection at him as quickly because the ball touched his arms; there have been barely any moments the place the MVP candidate appeared comfy on the offensive finish. Tatum completed the evening with 18 factors on 6-of-21 taking pictures, 2-of-9 from deep, 7 rebounds, a pair of assists and turnovers, three steals and a block.
Regardless of the loss, the Celtics have remained grounded within the second and never let down video games deter them, and rightfully so. The group continues to be 21-6 on the season, with the most effective report within the NBA, and have executed so with out their defensive cornerstone Robert Williams. A loss like final evening just isn’t indicative of the group’s progress or progress since final season, nor would a win have meant they’re a shoe-in to win the NBA Finals. Very similar to basketball being a recreation of runs, the NBA season is a marathon and Boston isn’t even on the midway level. To make daring claims on both facet of the fence is half-baked at finest.
“I feel they actually locked in on him, making it laborious for him,” stated Malcolm Brogdon on how Golden State defended teammate Jayson Tatum. “However I believed he missed photographs that he makes 95% of the time. He’ll make them subsequent recreation, and once we play (the Warriors) once more, he’s gonna make these photographs. We don’t lose belief in him. He’s going to be our man regardless.” Very similar to every other Celtics season, this group will go so far as their stars can carry them; the locker room realizes this, they usually’re not about to lose focus or religion over a bump within the street.
When requested about what Tatum has to do higher, Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla got here to the protection of his star participant and took possession. ““He doesn’t must do something higher, we (teaching employees) must be higher,” stated Mazzulla. “We’ve obtained to place him in higher spots in sure moments of the sport, really feel the sport and get him to a spot to the place he could make a play for our group.”
“I missed plenty of plenty of layups,” stated Tatum of his sub-par recreation amidst an MVP season. “Obtained two fouls within the first quarter, missed some open threes. They’re group, we clearly we obtained some historical past with them. They’ve been enjoying higher as of currently, and that well-balanced, proficient group on each ends, they make it robust on you. I feel I simply…perhaps my contact was off, however simply plenty of straightforward ones I missed made it just a little robust tonight.”
There are classes to be realized from the sport, and within the public eye, the loss goes to carry weight just because it was in opposition to the Warriors. “Tonight was in all probability extra significant to you guys than it was to us,” stated Tatum on the loss. “It’s one recreation. We need to win each recreation we play for positive, nevertheless it’s robust. We by no means need to lose, we’ve been enjoying properly, and to lose this one, particularly with the best way we performed, is hard. But it surely’s not going to dictate our season… it’s all about how we reply.”
For what it’s price, Tatum is correct. This sort of loss might be irritating, there are issues for positive to be upset about, nevertheless it finally is what it’s. It’s a quantity in a column, one other line to be tallied, one other alternative to study and develop. It doesn’t must be something extra to this Celtics group, and the most effective factor they will do is preserve their religion within the face of the franchise.
The Celtics may have an opportunity to get heading in the right direction on Monday with a matchup in opposition to the Clippers, 10:30 pm EST tipoff.