Celtics

Pistons-Celtics Overreactions: Should C's be in on Andre Drummond?

Pistons-Celtics Overreactions: Should C's be in on Andre Drummond?

Wednesday night's game against the Detroit Pistons was one to forget for the Boston Celtics, who struggled defensively and suffered a surprising 116-103 loss.

Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown contributed 25 and 24 points respectively, but their standout performances weren't nearly enough to propel their team to a victory.

Here are three instant overreactions from the C's loss, which brings them to 27-12 on the season:

1. Celtics should trade for Andre Drummond to address their "need" for a big man.

Verdict: Overreaction

We can't help but wonder whether Gordon Hayward heard all the "Hayward for Drummond" trade rumors that have been floating around.

The Celtics forward ended his scoring drought with a spectacular performance Wednesday, dropping 25 points (11-of-15 shooting) while adding seven rebounds and two steals.

Meanwhile, Drummond filled the stat sheet with 13 points (6-for-6), 12 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. He did also have five turnovers and five fouls.

There's no doubt Drummond would turn the C's into one of the better rebounding teams in the league. But here's the thing: they're already a decent rebounding team entering Wednesday night 11th in the NBA with 45.9 rebounds per game and outrebounding the Pistons, 44-34.

Plus, Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis both have had impressive seasons to this point in spite of all the "trade for a big man" talk.

If the cost is Hayward plus another piece for Drummond, who's set to be an unrestricted free agent if he exercises his player option after the season, then no thanks. The asking price isn't worth a rental, even if it is for an elite rebounder.

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2. Jaylen Brown's slump is over.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

You didn't really think Brown's shooting slump was going to last, did you?

Brown stepped up with Jayson Tatum out and was one of the few bright spots for the Celtics in this one. Along with his 24 points (10-for-16 from the field), he racked up 11 rebounds and was the C's most efficient player on both ends of the floor. Well, except for his free-throw shooting of course (0-for-5)...

Unfortunately, Brown's effort didn't result in a win over the lowly Pistons, but it at the very least was an encouraging sign to see the 23-year-old get his groove back.

3. Celtics defense suffered without Jayson Tatum.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Needless to say, this was not what you wanted to see from the Celtics in their first night of a back-to-back.

The Pistons shot a whopping 61 percent from the field (37.5 percent from 3 pt. range), and some of the C's defensive struggles can be attributed to Tatum's absence. The 21-year-old makes headlines for his offensive game, but he's been a revelation defensively this season.

Boston will hope to have Tatum when they take on the NBA's best Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.

Forsberg: Green's journey to NBA a 'dream come true'

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Bucks, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

Marcus Smart, Celtics fire back at Jazz fans who booed Gordon Hayward

Marcus Smart, Celtics fire back at Jazz fans who booed Gordon Hayward

Utah Jazz fans are still salty over Gordon Hayward's 2017 departure.

And Hayward's Boston Celtics teammates aren't above rubbing salt in their wounds.

Jazz fans heartily booed Hayward on Wednesday night in his second trip back to Vivint Smart Home Arena since leaving Utah to sign with the Celtics in 2017.

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But Boston got the last laugh in a 114-103 victory, and after the game, several C's players said those boos motivated them to win on Hayward's behalf.

"It was huge. Gordon has worked his tail off,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart told reporters, as aired on NBC Sports Boston. “It always feels good to come back where you started and to hear that crowd booing and to come out and win."

"They can't say anything."

Added Jayson Tatum, who led all scorers with 33 points, "I’m happy we got this win for G."

Celtics big man Enes Kanter, who was drafted by the Jazz and spent three-plus seasons as Hayward's teammate from 2011 to 2015, had a bit more to say for Utah fans heckling his teammate.

"One thing about Gordon, before he’s a good basketball player, he’s a really good teammate," Kanter said. "So it’s just a little silly that he gets all the boos still. I don’t think it’s hate anymore. It’s just, they’re just enjoying it."

Hayward was the Jazz's franchise player before signing a maximum contract with Boston, so he'll likely still hear boos every time he returns to Utah.

The 29-year-old had a relatively quiet homecoming --12 points on 4-of-12 shooting -- and didn't speak to reporters after the game, but his Celtics teammates did the talking for him, both on and off the court.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Rockets-Celtics, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

Celtics-Jazz Takeaways: Tatum gets his again, but C's spread it around

Celtics-Jazz Takeaways: Tatum gets his again, but C's spread it around

Kemba Walker missing games this season has drawn more attention to his Boston Celtics teammate Jayson Tatum. 

When that happens, it puts a greater premium on those around Tatum to elevate their play and make teams pay for focusing on the All-Star. 

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.

Tatum, who had 33 points in the C's 114-103 win over Utah, is on the kind of scoring binge that has set him apart not just from his teammates, but from most of the top players in the NBA. 

His play set the tone for Boston’s strong start against Utah, but the Jazz got back into the game and made it a back-and-forth tussle for most the final three quarters. 

The Celtics began to separate themselves in the fourth, getting solid contributions from bench players at both ends of the floor to pull away for another win - their 11th in their past 13. 

Here are a few takeaways from a solid win that closes a strong 3-1 trip west:

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR C'S? A LOT

Jaylen Brown was one of the most outspoken Celtics when it came to talking about the need for players to do a better job of supporting Tatum when he has it going offensively. 

Brown was more than up to the challenge, finishing with 20 points, including 10 points in a third quarter that ended with the Celtics clinging to a three-point lead. 

The Celtics have the kind of roster where the offensive pecking order will fluctuate from game-to-game. Still, Brown has consistently shown he's the kind of player who makes the most of an increased opportunity and Wednesday was no exception. 

Indeed, it has worked out well for Boston this season and will need to continue to be part of who they are going forward. 

PLAYING (MARCUS) SMART DOWN THE STRETCH

Marcus Smart makes shots in the fourth quarter. Marcus Smart makes shots in the fourth quarter. It’s worth repeating because, for some reason, Celtics opponents consistently leave him wide open. 

And to Smart’s credit, he continues to make the opposition pay when it matters most. 

Smart had 17 points, nine in the fourth quarter. He also led the Celtics with nine assists.

Knocking down shots in the fourth is something that Smart does consistently. Now, those shots are coming with even less resistance because of the added attention being paid to Tatum. 

INSIDE JOB BY BOSTON

Much is made of Boston’s lack of bigs, and yet they continue to do what teams with size do: generate points in the paint. 

Boston won the paint battle against Utah, outscoring the Jazz 56-46 in the paint in addition to out-rebounding them, 44-41. 

The Celtics have consistently mixed up their inside scoring coming from drives and post-ups, a good mix that has kept defenses off balance and in many instances, incapable of slowing them down. 

Having multiple guys who can finish at the rim while creating their own shot, poses a great challenge to most defenses. 

And maybe most important, it has given the Celtics exactly what they are seeking every night: a win. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Rockets-Celtics, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.