The Boston Celtics just swept their four-game road trip, making it five straight since they've lost a game. Not only did they go undefeated after traveling thousands of miles across the country and playing in multiple time zones, but they did it in style, overcoming loads of other challenges along the way.
For starters, they were missing most of their starters at one point or another during the trip. Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, and Daniel Theis missed all four games with their longer-term injuries. Marcus Morris missed two games due to his dinged-up ankle. Jaylen Brown and Al Horford each missed a game because of their respective brain and ankle injuries.
The Celtics have $28.1M in healthy player salary able to play tonight.
During the trip, they had to play in a back-to-back, where both tip-offs were late by Eastern Standard Time standards. The first game in Sacramento started at 8:00 PM EST, and after all of the post-game festivities, they then flew to Phoenix where they played the next night for a 10:00 PM EST contest.
It was hard enough forcing myself to stay up late to catch these games, so mad props to the Cs for continuously straining their bodies and ruining their sleep schedules for the greater good.
The Celtics faced off against two teams that have been feeling it for the past month or so. The Portland Trailblazers had won 14 of their last 16 games before gearing up for the boys in green. Portland also has that impressive back-court of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, and not having Kyrie Irving to match their offensive capabilities or Marcus Smart to defend them on the perimeter certainly was a disadvantage for the Cs.
To finish the trip, they faced off against the steaming-hot Utah Jazz who had won 12 of their last 15 before meeting the Celtics, and in their prior game had defeated the Golden State Warriors by 19 points. Not to mention, the Jazz have a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Rudy Gobert, as well as a Rookie of the Year candidate in Donovan Mitchell on their squad. A good matchup for our own two studs who will be making a run at those trophies...
And the cherry on top is that in both of those difficult wins, the game came down to the wire and it was the team's clutch gene that sealed the deal. Versus the Blazers, Mook Morris hit a dagger of a shot with just under a minute to go and the shot clock winding down.
Can't get enough of Marcus Morris' back-to-back game-winning threes?
Just a delightful trip for this tenacious team, proving that they may have what it takes to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Celtics beat Jazz 97-94 to go 4-0 on west coast road trip. That's the first time since 2009 the Celtics have swept a four-game road trip. They do it tonight without Kyrie, Morris, Horford, Hayward, Smart, and Theis.
The Celtics have won 12 of 16 since the All-Star Break, and there's still a chance to snag that number one seed! Saturday's game against Toronto is going to be intense.
Let's get the Coach of the Year chants going! Brad Stevens is playing checkers while everyone else is playing jenga. Just jumping around the league for that crowning, shouting, "king me!" everywhere he goes.