Celtics

Celtics-Nuggets Instant Overreactions: Best all-around performance by C's so far

Celtics-Nuggets Instant Overreactions: Best all-around performance by C's so far

The Boston Celtics got some revenge on the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

After falling to the Nuggets 96-92 during last month's West-Coast road trip, the C's pulled off a 108-95 win in which they dominated on both ends of the floor from start to finish. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the charge with 26 and 21 points respectively.

Here are three instant overreactions from the C's victory, which brings them to 16-5 on the year:

1. This was the Celtics' best all-around performance so far.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

The C's didn't just beat one of the best defensive teams in the league, they made it look easy. Boston outscored Denver in the first three quarters and shot 53.7 percent from the floor (37.1 percent from 3).

Perhaps even more impressive was their defensive effort. Nikola Jokic (30 points) was the only real scoring threat the Nuggets had to offer, and even he looked out of sorts at times throughout the contest.

Denver shot 41.5 percent from the field and an abysmal 16.7 percent from beyond the arc.

2. C's have solved their issues defending the 3.

Verdict: Overreaction

OK, so I mentioned the tremendous job done by the Celtics defending the 3-ball in this game. I'm just skeptical of their ability to make it a trend.

Teams have rained 3s on Boston all season (and we still haven't forgotten about Buddy Hield's two ridiculous performances), so while Friday night's game was encouraging, we'll have to see whether it's an anomaly or a real sign the 3-point defense has turned a corner.

3. Enes Kanter should get a boost in playing time.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Kanter's defense obviously leaves plenty to be desired, but he provided a spark off the bench vs. the Nuggets in the first quarter. That's particularly important considering the number of slow starts the Celtics have had so far this season.

Kanter finished with 8 points (all in the first), 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 18 minutes.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Monday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Tommy & Mike have the call at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

LeBron James doesn't regret breaking Celtics-Lakers routine to watch son play

LeBron James doesn't regret breaking Celtics-Lakers routine to watch son play

BOSTON -- How LeBron James got to Boston on Monday afternoon is up for debate.

One report suggested the Los Angeles Lakers star took a private helicopter from Springfield, Mass., to TD Garden ahead of his game against the Boston Celtics. The Athletic's Joe Vardon reported that James rode in a car like anyone else.

James quipped after the game that he "walked" the 90-mile distance: "I walked and they didn’t call it."

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

What's undisputed is that James messed with his pregame routine Monday to watch his son Bronny James, a freshman at Sierra Canyon (Calif.) High School, play in Springfield's Hoophall Classic.

Bronny's squad played at 1 p.m. ET, meaning James had to attend the Lakers' pregame meeting Monday morning, haul out to Springfield to watch his son, and then hightail it back to play a primetime NBA game against a quality opponent.

According to Vardon, James napped in the car on the way to and from his son's game to try to maintain some normalcy. Not that he minded the disruption.

"I’d break every routine in my life for my family," James said after the game. "Listen, if the gods are with me, they’re going to make sure I get back safe, but my routine was broke today. 

"But I could care less if I’m seeing my family, my wife and my daughter and my kids. It was a unique opportunity for me to see my son play live that close to where I’m at."

The Celtics likely are glad James logged the extra travel; the Lakers star scored just 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting (with seven rebounds and 13 assists) as Boston cruised to a 139-107 win.

Bronny also struggled Monday, failing to score in Sierra Canyon's loss to Paul VI. But the final scores were the only issue James had with his busy travel day in Massachusetts.

"I didn’t mind going down to Springfield to check the game out,” James said. “The only bad thing about today was that I took two L’s. The 'James Gang' took two L’s, but there are always better days."

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Grizzlies-Celtics, which begins Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Why LeBron James reportedly arrived at Celtics-Lakers via helicopter

Why LeBron James reportedly arrived at Celtics-Lakers via helicopter

LeBron James did what any good dad would do Monday -- with a little extra help.

The Los Angeles Lakers star's son, Bronny, plays for Sierra Canyon (Calif.) High School, which happened to be in Springfield, Mass., on Monday to compete in the Hoophall Classic.

Sierra Canyon played Paul VI at 1 p.m. ET, so James, whose Lakers were in town to play the Boston Celtics on Monday night, decided to go watch his son play.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

James then had to hightail it from Springfield to Boston -- about 92 miles and a 90-minute drive on a good day -- to get ready for Celtics-Lakers.

But rather than sit in traffic on the Mass Pike, James took a private helicopter, according to The Athletic's Jared Weiss.

That's a true helicopter parent.

James' express mode of transportation apparently worked: He arrived at the Garden on time and didn't miss the team's shootaround that morning, according to Lakers coach Frank Vogel.

"I saw him at the meeting this morning, I saw him on my phone this afternoon (at the Hoophall Classic), and I saw him in the locker room tonight," Vogel said before Monday's game, adding he had "no idea" how James got to or from Boston.

Sierra Canyon's game wasn't without incident, either: Bronny was held scoreless in the team's loss to Paul VI and a fan was caught throwing a piece of candy at him, prompting an admonishment from LeBron on Twitter.

The Celtics are hoping James' busy day wears him down a bit as they aim snap a three-game losing streak.

UPDATE (Tuesday, Jan. 21, 7 a.m. ET): Apparently James didn't take a chopper to Boston, after all.

The Athletic's Joe Vardon reported that the Lakers star made the Springfield-to-Boston trip in a car, citing someone who was with him for the drive.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Lakers, which begins Monday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.