Well, that was unexpected.
The Boston Celtics extended their win streak to 10 games on Friday night, but it wasn't pretty. It came down to the wire vs. a depleted, 2-11 Warriors team that also lost D'Angelo Russell to injury during the contest.
Nonetheless, the C's pulled out a 105-100 victory to improve to 10-1 on the season.
Here are three instant overreactions:
1. Celtics nearly losing to NBA's worst team is a wake-up call.
This was the Celtics' worst performance of the season to this point. There's no doubt about that. The Warriors basically were playing with a G-League roster, and their best player D'Angelo Russell even left the game with an injury.
But to call it a reality check, or to discount the Celtics' early-season success because of it, is quite the stretch. Despite looking lethargic in the first game of its West Coast road trip, Boston remains the best team in the East and showed its true colors in the fourth quarter as Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum took over when it mattered most.
2. C's have a glaring need for a legitimate big man.
Verdict: Not an overreaction
The biggest negative takeaway from the C's ugly win was their glaring need for a legit center. They're getting bullied in the paint, and they're going to have to make some sort of move during the season if they're to be serious title contenders down the stretch.
Boston's dependence on the three-ball was evident in this game and it failed to find success outside of Jaylen Brown (3-for-3) and Marcus Smart (5-for-9). The rest of the team went 5-for-21 from long range.
3. Kemba Walker's disappointing night is concerning.
Let's be real: no one with a brain actually came away from this game thinking Walker's lack of production through the first three quarters will be a long-term issue. Walker couldn't buy a bucket for most of the night, then the Celtics' new "King of the Fourth" took over.
This comes with the territory with Walker. When he's cold, he's ice cold and when he's hot, he's unstoppable. Fortunately for him, Tatum and Brown are more than willing to carry the load during those cold spells.
Walker finished with 20 points (6-for19) to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
We 💚 you, Kemba pic.twitter.com/YPKpNRTvp4— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 16, 2019
Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Kings, which tips off Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 3:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.