Five takeaways: Next win - and next man - up
Next win - and next man - up
BOSTON – The Celtics lose a man.
The Celtics gain another victory.
The two seem to go hand-in-hand this season and it rang true once again Wednesday night in a 107-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers that included rookie Jayson Tatum's right ankle injury.
Initial X-rays indicated that there were no breaks or fractures, but additional testing will be done today to determine the extent of the injury.
Regardless of who is out, it hasn’t gotten in the way of what matters most – winning.
“That’s the best thing about having a good system and a good coach,” said Aron Baynes. “He puts us in the place we need to be to succeed.”
Here are five takeaways from the victory over the Lakers that extended the C's winning streak to 10.
Smart makes winning plays
It wasn’t the best of shooting nights for Marcus Smart. He was just 3-for-11 from the field and finished with nine points, six assists and four rebounds. Still, there was no mistaking the huge impact he had on the game with his energy, hustle and defense. That’s why despite his shooting struggles, the Celtics were plus-16 when he was on the floor which was easily the best plus/minus of anyone in the game.
Stevens’ coaching job
We’ve never had a unanimous coach of the year award winner, but it’s damn near impossible to say there’s another coach in the NBA right now, who has done a better job than Stevens. Not only does he coach the team with the best record in the league, but he’s done it with at least one starter/significant role player out every game this season. “Brad [Stevens] he’s a mastermind when it comes to coaching,” said Celtics forward Marcus Morris. “He puts guys in the right spots and strong areas to where they can succeed well at. He knows matchups and plugs guys in, he knows what they do best offensively and defensively.”
Baynes’ big night
It was a breakout night for Aron Baynes who had his best game as a Celtic offensively, scoring 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds and three assists. You can’t expect that from him every night, even if Al Horford isn’t in the mix. But it’s refreshing to know that he can make teams pay in a big way if they keep leaving him open for mid-range jumpers and rolls to the rim.
Marcus Morris, who missed the first eight games with left knee soreness, was such a big part of the win despite playing with his minutes still somewhat restricted. He had 18 points in just less than 25 minutes which was about the maximum amount of minutes they felt comfortable playing him. That kind of production in such a limited window on the floor certainly creates an increased temptation to play him more. But considering how sore he said his left knee was after the game, chances are his minutes will still hover around the 20-25 range in the immediate future.
Theis is nice
No matter who the opponent, no matter what the scenario may be, good things tend to happen for Boston when Daniel Theis gets into games. He was in high-energy mode once again on Wednesday which helped him contribute eight points on 3-for-6 shooting along with five rebounds, two steals and three blocked shots.