Boston sweeps NBA's best defensive team in convincing fashion
The first time was January 3rd, when Boston put up 115 points in an 11-point victory over Utah. The C's faced a tougher challenge last night though since they were not only on the road but were also without Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley who contributed a combined 35 points in their last meeting.
Even without two starters and with Jaylen Brown getting injured, the Celts were able to roll past the Jazz and put up the most points by any away team on their court this year.
Not only did they get the win, but they did so in convincing fashion by torching Utah from the field and finding ways to score in the paint against the Stifle Tower, Rudy Gobert. Boston shot a season-high field goal percentage and had one of the most efficient shooting games in the NBA so far this year:
Celtics just shot 59.2% (season high) for 112 pts vs the top defense in the NBA #CelticsTalk— Max Lederman (@Max_Lederman) February 12, 2017
Celtics tonight: 68.3 eFG% (6th best in NBA this season). Also the highest Jazz have allowed #CelticsTalk— Max Lederman (@Max_Lederman) February 12, 2017
The Celtics were not intimidated by Rudy Gobert down low. Gobert has been exceptional at protecting the rim in 2016-17. In fact, I wrote all about it in a previous piece that dissected Gobert and the Utah Jazz's league-best interior defense.
Yet, Isaiah was able to hold off the long arms of the Stifle Tower and have his usual way in the paint. Al Horford, Kelly Olynyk, and Amir Johnson were able to shoot very effectively against a team and player that forces a ton of misses:
Celtics bigs Horford, Johnson and Olynyk combined to shoot 16-22 (11-13 inside the arc) against Rudy Gobert & league's best D @CelticsLife— Mark Van Deusen (@LucidSportsFan) February 12, 2017
The Celts have now scored two of the three highest-scoring games against Utah, the league's No. 1 defense:
The 112 pts scored by the @celtics against the @utahjazz tonight gives Boston 2 of the top-3 pt totals vs Utah this season. #Celticstalk— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) February 12, 2017
If their offense without Crowder and Bradley can be this good against a top defense, is there anyone who can slow down a healthy Boston team on the offensive end when they are playing at their best?
Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32
Photo by AP Photo/Rick Bowmer