The first part of this recap, like so many other recap lead-ins in all of the sports world, begins with who was in or who was out of the Covid Protocols. For the Boston Celtics the frontcourt rotation of Robert Williams, Tristan Thompson and Grant Williams were all out against The Wizards for this one.
With each team assigned a Protocol Officer by the League to adhere to all the testing and prevention rules, there is no hiding or sliding by to get on the floor. The officer is on the road and on the plane. It’s a presence that keeps everyone aware and the NBA should be commended for their efforts.
Said Coach Brad Stevens, “Our job’s not to make excuses for who’s not here.”
The first quarter was a continuation of the Bradley Beal scoring extravaganza who put up 14 shooting 6 of 9 from the field for the Wizards. He was coming off a 60 point performance in Washington’s last outing and seemed to be amused at attempts to guard him as he flashed a smile every time he blew by a defender to the hoop.
Meanwhile, the ‘one guy can’t beat you’ theory held true. Beal could score at will but he wasn’t getting enough help. Russell Westbrook tried to bully his way around the floor but Boston was having none of it. You won’t faze the likes of Jaylen Brown and especially Marcus Smart with tough guy antics.
The Celts shot 50% from the field and 50% from the 3 point line in that 1st quarter and ended being up by 5. They finished up 19 for the half and in the early going of the 3rd they built the lead to 26. Still, the Wizards fought and the Celts relaxed and by 7 minutes to go the lead was cut to 4. 99-95.
The Celtics awoke and with 2 minutes to go ran off seven straight to get the lead back to 8 as Jalen Brown finished off a sweet pass to the corner from Marcus Smart. The 3 swished through the cylinder.
Shooting and scooting around:
Jayson Tatum dropped in 32 points, Jaylen Brown had 27 with 13 rebounds. Daniel Theis got 2 quick fouls early in the first quarter and Coach Stevens put in 7 foot 5 inch Tacko Fall and he responded with 10 rebounds, a nice block on Westbrook and an alley-oop finish from Jaylen Brown in the 2nd. Tacko Nation Ate it up.
Final: Boston 116 Washington 107