MIAMI – About half an hour later Celtics Second impressive win in a row, Marcus Smart He stopped inside the team’s locker room to discuss the art of expulsion. Smart said that by walking around to shake hands with other players on the field after they were thrown, a player could be a little late in forcing him into the locker room. Smart suggested that the referee is not likely to push a player off the field when he shows good sportsmanship.
Punch streak: In the Celtics’ final pre-season game, Jason Tatum He handled his expulsion differently. Smart looked across the room at his teammate, and cracked that Tatum had taken so long to complain after the second technical foul that night.
“protection!” Smart called out, hilarious the way the judges took Tatum off the field.
It’s not clear why Smart considers it important to stay on the field for a few extra seconds after he’s been sent off, but his reasoning doesn’t seem to matter. Sitting in front of his wardrobe, Tatum laughed at the joke. For the Celtics, it’s all fun now that they open the season with a drop 76ers And the the heat, Two teams predicted the challenge for the Eastern Conference crown. To go 2-0 up on Friday night, the Celtics beat Miami a big run in the third quarter en route to a 111-104 win. Tatum said he and his teammates had a blast early this regular season.
“There have been some tough times in the last year where we’ve been going forward and losing or losing close matches at the end,” Tatum said. “But the way we responded last season in the playoffs and then the start that we started this year was just fun. The way we played was fun. Everyone comes in and contributes in one way or another. We feel it and hope you guys can see it, just the joy we were playing with it “.
– Boston Celtics October 22 2022
Joy appeared in some flashy offensive numbers. Through two games, the Celtics hit 54 percent of the field while scoring 123.4 league points per 100 possessions. While it’s too early in the season for any sample size to be meaningful, Boston’s attack has clocked in at an astonishing pace. tatum and Jaylyn Brown He averaged 63.5 points per game. The Celtics had 20 spins against Miami, but they were still able to beat the Heat’s accusations in the third and fourth quarters. Tatum referred to his team’s offensive execution when asked what distinguished him during the first two matches.
“The way we play attacking the majority of the game, we play fast,” Tatum said. “Plays aren’t always called, just like trying not to slack off as much as possible. Last year we might have struggled with that early on, but the ball was just popping, trying to get someone else open to make a sacrificial cut or check for someone else. Skip a good shot for a shot. Brilliant. Just the feeling of where men are on Earth. We’ve had a lot of practice with that. It shows the guys who’ve been here for a while. The camaraderie we have and the feeling we have for each other at this end.”
After the Heat spent 12 points during the first six minutes of the third quarter, Tatum and Brown halted the race with an 8-0 lead. Although the stars began responding to Boston, Unit Two continued to do so. Malcolm Brogdon And the Grant Williams He scored the Celtics’ final 10 points in the quarter to open an 89-77 lead.
As Tatum noted more than once, Boston’s attack was nothing like this last season. It took the Celtics about half of the season to start scoring at a high level. Players believe the extra continuity helped in the hot start this time around.
“We have a lot of guns, a lot of options,” Brown said. “When we get our distance, the teams are going to have to help out. And we just have to keep playing right and looking after the ball. Miami did a good job doing what Miami does. Trying to strengthen the game, being physical and things like that. And I thought we handled it really well. We’ll see a lot of that from the teams because that’s how they’re going to be able to stay in the game. So if we go out and become the more physical team, it’s going to be hard to beat us.”
As promising as the early results were, Brown believes the Celtics team will continue to evolve over time.
“We still have a lot of growth that we can achieve,” Brown said. “I think we played two really good teams, two tough teams, a physical team, and we handled it really well. But I think we can be better. I think we can be more spaced out. I think we can take care of the ball better. I think we can be.” Better in defense. So I think there are a lot of positives from the last few games, but we have a lot of room to grow.”
After eliminating the Heat in a tough playoff series last season, Smart said Boston expects to see the Miami team “furious” on Friday. Even if the Heat had extra motivation, the Celtics were able to control most of the match. Brogdon said his new team is “playing just the right way”.
Tatum believes losing in the finals shaped the team’s mentality.
“Reaching into the championship and losing was the worst feeling ever,” he said. “No matter the individual trophies, all I care about is how many games we win, come back to win, win the championship, everyone has the same mindset to do whatever it takes on any night. Do whatever it takes, do what’s best for the team. Once done. With that and everyone has the same mindset, everyone shines individually, anyway. That’s just how it happens. You obviously need talent, but a group of great guys, that’s a formula for success.”
(Picture of Jason Tatum sending a kiss to the audience after scoring at the Heat box: Rich Story/USA Today)