Celtics

Grizzlies-Celtics Instant Overreactions: Are C's officially back on track?

Celtics

The Boston Celtics earned their second straight blowout victory on Wednesday night, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies, 119-95.

Jayson Tatum led the way with 23 points. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows for Tatum and the C's though, as the 21-year-old left the game in the third quarter with a right groin strain.

Here are three instant overreactions from Boston's win, which brings it to 29-14 on the year:

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1. The Celtics are officially back on track after their recent rough patch.

Verdict: Slight overreaction

The last two games -- a 32-point win over the Lakers and a 24-point win over the Grizzlies -- have been extremely encouraging for a Celtics team that lost six of its previous eight.

That being said, there's still plenty to prove. Circle the Miami Heat game (Jan. 28) and the Philadelphia 76ers game (Feb.1) on your calendars, because those will be the true tests for Boston as it looks to show it belongs at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

2. C's can't afford to lose Jayson Tatum right now.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Few teams in the league have had more misfortune with injuries than the Celtics this season. They've played in only 16 of 43 games with Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward all active.

Brown was held out of Wednesday's game with an ankle injury, and now it looks like Tatum could miss some time. The 21-year-old suffered a right groin strain in the third quarter and did not return.

 

With the C's finally appearing to get their groove back, now certainly is a tough time to potentially lose another one of their best players. 

3. This game should quiet the Ja Morant hype.

Verdict: Overreaction

Morant (two points, 1-for-5 shooting) pretty much was invisible in this game. The rookie, along with most of his Grizzlies teammates, couldn't get anything going vs. the Celtics' stifling defense.

But let's make one thing clear: the Ja Morant hype is very real. The NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunner entered Wednesday's game leading all first-year players in points (17.9) and assists per game (seven).

Morant has been electrifying thus far in his rookie campaign, and you can count on that continuing. This kid is going to be special for years to come. We're talking future MVP candidate special.

Forsberg: Value of Memphis pick got grizzly in a hurry

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