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Quick question. Name the two Celtics players that logged the most minutes and had the highest plus/minus in last night's 97-94 win over the Utah Jazz. We are talking about Shane Larkin and Semi Ojeleye. Shane played 33 minutes and had a plus/minus of +25. Semi logged 32 minutes with a plus/minus of +7.


The tweet is correct. Nine boards for Larkin, along with 10 points, four assists and the highest Net Rating on the team. Shane played the final five minutes of the game, and Ojeleye was in there for the final winning shot by Jaylen Brown.


Shane's laser-like pass led to Semi's assist on the Brown three-pointer, and Ojeleye also notched seven points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 1-of-1 on threes. Semi's Effective Field Goal Percentage and True shooting Percentage were both team highs, 116.7% and 101.7%, respectively. Remember, an import from Spain and a second-round pick did all this. And here comes another patented, Brad Stevens innovation:


Brad got the duct tape out, patched the three-bigs trio together, and it worked. Did anyone think it wouldn't? This is MassLive's Jay King on Brad's Master Strategist plan:

But in turning to Baynes, Greg Monroe and Semi Ojeleye near the end of the third quarter, all at once, Stevens still essentially punted on all hopes of spreading out the Jazz. In today's NBA, pairing Baynes and Monroe together could be a death sentence. Throw in Ojeleye, a 30-percent shooting power forward, and you'd need a screw loose to even consider such a frontcourt trio. But, after giving up a 15-0 run, the Celtics unleashed the monster zone. And it revived their chances.

Shane is showing everyone that he can play in this League. Semi is still doing his thing on defense, but now he is hitting his shots (at least for one game). Brad seems capable of grabbing 10 guys from the local YMCA and turning them into pro-league stars. The Celtics finished the road trip at 4-and-0 with patchwork lineups that, on the surface, appeared to have little chance of winning. If Stevens doesn't pick up NBA Coach-of-the-Year, there needs to be an investigation.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Elsa/Getty Images North America


Tom Lane 3/29/2018 07:39:00 AM Edit
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