The Celtics earned their 5th straight road win tonight with an impressive performance versus the Miami Heat. Both teams were shorthanded. The Heat were missing Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow. The Celtics were without Al Horford. The Celtics dominated the first half defensively, but allowed 42 points in the 3rd quarter. However, the Heat were never really able to put the outcome in doubt. The game was not as close as the final score would indicate.
The Celtics executed well offensively throughout the game. Certainly there were some moments they’d like to forget on defense. Mostly in the third quarter. But the Celtics never let up on their offensive end.
The Celtics moved the ball, penetrated the paint, and didn’t settle for jump shots. Any 3 point attempts, or long 2 point attempts, came from collapsing the defense and kicking the ball out.
The Celtics finished with 26 assists on 83 attempts. Also, Boston made 40% of their 3 point shots as a team despite Isaiah having an off night from deep (2-10.) And the Celtics earned 26 free throws and made 80% of them.
One game sample sizes can sometimes give you misleading results, however 7 different Celtics had an offensive rating higher than 110 in this game. (Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Amir Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Zeller and Jae Crowder.) Despite the small sample size caveat, that is impressive.
The Celtics got great offensive production from their two starting guards as usual.
Isaiah Thomas finished with 25 points and 8 assists. Thomas only committed 1 turnover in this game, resulting in an impressive 8 to 1 Assist to Turnover Ratio.
Avery Bradley was impressive handling the ball in the first half. He created a lot of offense early in this game. Avery was an important part of the Celtics success offensively. Isaiah Thomas struggled finding his offense until the second half. Bradley finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.
However the Celtics guard tandem did allow Dragic, MacGruder, and Richardson to go off in the second half. They’ve been dominating opponents all season long on both ends, but they’ll want to forget what happened tonight on the defensive end. It will be important for them to bounce back from their performance defensively.
WINNING WITHOUT HORFORD
The Celtics haven’t had it easy in most games Al Horford hasn’t played. But tonight they came away with a pretty convincing win, despite not having the big fella available.
Horford makes a big impact for this team. He’s a stat sheet stuffer in a variety of categories, but also does a lot of little things not seen on the box score.
It’s important for the Celtics to get good performances out of guys like Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, and Jonas Jerebko.
GET JEREBKO THE BALL!
Speaking of Jerebko, he is on an outstanding hot streak shooting the ball. Jerebko is 15 for 18 from the field in his last 5 games, as well as 7 for 8 from deep! (Hat tip Brian Robb, @CelticsHub.)
That is an outstanding 83.5% from the field, and 87.5% from three-point range!
The Celtics might want to consider getting Jonas more minutes, and/or more shots.
CELTICS EARN 5TH STRAIGHT ROAD WIN, PLAY PISTONS WEDNESDAY AT HOME
The Celtics will have tomorrow off, and will be back in action against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday at the TD Garden in Boston. Tip off is at 7:30 PM.