The Celtics again showed that they are "a team full of killers"
The Boston Celtics are surprising absolutely everybody with their leisurely stroll through the Eastern Conference side of the NBA Playoff's. It's time to consider the very real possibility that this team full of twenty-something year olds may make it to the NBA Finals. The freaking NBA Finals! Where they'll face one of the West's two powerhouses: the Houston Rockets or the Golden State Warriors.
Let's not get too ahead of ourselves, as the Celtics still have to head to Lebron's house in Cleveland for Games 3 and 4, where the crowd will be donning significantly less green. But still, the fact that this team is up 2-0 against LeBron is nuts.
Unlike the Cavs, the Celtics haven't had the luxury of riding one player to where they are now. It's taken the entire village to get them this far, and it's been that way since their very first game with the Milwaukee Bucks, when five players scored 19 points or more to take the 113-107 Game 1 victory.
One anonymous NBA executive summed up the Celtics' roster to a tee recently, and last night's Game 2 victory over the Cavs proved the statement true for the umpteenth time during these playoffs.
Asked a rival front office guy how Boston is in this position: "They are a team full of killers. Some are loud like Smart & Morris. Others do it quietly like Horford, Tatum & Brown. And the best, quietest killer of all is on the sidelines because you never see it coming."
The Celtics are a team full of killers! They may not all be killing at once, simultaneously, but there is always at least one guy out there upping their kill count for the greater good of the team. Last night, the Celtics had a different mercenary merking in every quarter of the game.
The first quarter was dominated by LeBron James, who scored 21 of his team's 27 total first quarter points. He looked unstoppable out there, hitting 8 of his 13 field goal attempts and 4 of his 7 long-range jumpers. A metaphor-of-sorts for how he played in the game's first 12 minutes can be seen in this one play: a turn-around, fadeaway three-pointer, while being smothered by Marcus Smart as the shot clock expired. An absolutely ridiculous shot that I think the majority of NBA players would miss 90% of the time.
Jaylen Brown was the only reason that the Celtics hung on in the first. He was one of only three scorers for the Celtics in the game's first period, and led the team with 14 points. Al Horford and Aron Baynes contributed the Celtics other 9, to make the first quarter score 27-23.
Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris, who each went scoreless in the first quarter, picked up where Jaylen left off. Tatum scored 9 points just before the half, and Morris contributed 6. The Cavs kept the lead going into halftime, mostly because Kyle Korver got hot, hitting both of his three-point attempts and 4 of his 5 field goals. The score at halftime: 55-48, Cleveland.
After halftime, the Celtics broke the game open, and a large part of it was because of Terry Rozier, who tied Jaylen with the team's highest scoring quarter. In the third, he put up 14 points in the Celtics' 36 point quarter! This effort gave the Cs their first lead of the game, just in time, as the team went heading into the fourth quarter, 84-77.
And then the captain of this playoff squad closed it out. Al Horford dropped 8 points in the fourth, capping off the killing for the team full of killers. Celtics took Game 2 107-94, and You Should be Dancing by the Bee Gees blasted through the Garden speakers after the 13 point W.