As the Celtics return from the All-Star break, Kyrie Irving bests his old team. The Nets beat the Celtics 121-109 despite being without Kevin Durant and newly-signed Blake Griffin. Kyrie Irving was unstoppable all night long and even hit a few daggers down the stretch. James Harden had a great game as well, falling 2 assists shy of a triple double. For Boston, Jayson Tatum started the game off slow, but played extremely well for the Celtics down the stretch. He finished with a team high 31 points. Kemba Walker was the exact opposite. He started off strong, but only scored 2 points for the final 3 quarters. It was a rough night however for Jaylen Brown. He shot 5-23 from the field and just never seemed to be in a groove all night long. Boston’s 4 game winning streak is now over, but the Nets are now winners of 11 of their last 12 games.
STAR OF THE GAME
Kyrie Irving is normally in the news for some spat he has with the media. A lot of people tend to forget that Kyrie is actually an extremely talented basketball player. He showed just that tonight. He was amazing for the Nets and he finished the game with 40 points on 15-23 shooting and he also had 8 rebounds. All night long Boston played some pretty good defense on him, but Kyrie just played better offense almost every time down the court. Kyrie is not really known for his defense, but he played some solid defense tonight as well. There is no denying that when Kyrie plays like this and Kevin Durant comes back healthy, this is the team to beat. Oh yeah, the also have James Harden which makes them even scarier.
The Nets were without arguably one of the best players in the NBA and the Celtics still lost. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart played amazing tonight, yet the Celtics still lost. This has to make one ask, are the Celtics good enough to even make the Conference Finals? Yes, it is one regular season game. Yes, this is the first time since January 30th that the ‘Big 4’ all played together. Jaylen Brown will most likely not shoot 5-23 from the field if these teams play again. Marcus Smart will eventually be off his minutes restriction and the Celtics will eventually be fully healthy. This result just makes one wonder if Boston is good enough as currently constructed. *For the record, I still believe the Celtics can make the NBA Finals.
Landry Shamet came into tonight’s game shooting 35.8% from 3 and was averaging 7.8 PPG. Tonight, he had 18 points on 6-9 shooting from 3 and he even started the game 4-4 from 3. When Shamet first entered the league, he shot 45% from 3 on 6 attempts during his rookie season. Since then, his numbers have decreased every year from beyond the arc. If Shamet can hit 3’s at that rate, that just clears more space for Harden, Irving, or Durant to do whatever they want and it makes the Nets scary offense even more scary.
At Houston Rockets, Sunday, March 14th at 5:00 PM
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