Celtics bench came through big-time in win over Toronto
First of all - nice to have Aron Baynes back. In the 117-108 win over the Raptors, he came off the bench to score nine points, grab five boards and hand out two assists. And three of those points came on a three-pointer. Oh, and yes - he had a Net Rating of +27.2 for the game. His size, toughness and attitude give a lift to his teammates.
Jaylen Brown did not have a particularly good offensive game (seven points, five rebounds), but he definitely contributed to the victory. Like his fellow bench-mates, he had a solid Net Rating of +27.8. He also had one beauty of a block. If he is ever able to shed that tentativeness I see in his game, he could be a terror for defenders.
Gordon Hayward had a solid game with 18 points on 62% from the field and 40% on threes, adding two rebounds, five assists and a Net Rating of +20.4. Terry Rozier also had a high Net Rating of +26.8, but was only able to notch five points and three boards.
We sure missed big man Aron Baynes. But he returned Wednesday and canned a big 3-pointer that helped to turn the game around for us. pic.twitter.com/vLGhSgE8ke— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 17, 2019
Gordon's explosiveness, particularly on vertical leaps, still seems like a work in progress, but he uses his craftiness to his advantage. Keeping more to a ground game may be a good idea for now. But his skills were on display last night. He seemed comfortable out there.
Gordon Hayward (16 PTS, 7-8 FGM) creates space with the step-back!— NBA (@NBA) January 17, 2019
Halftime on @ESPNNBA:#CUsRise 64#WeTheNorth 53
Kyrie Irving: 14 PTS, 8 AST
Kawhi Leonard: 16 PTS pic.twitter.com/WsHckR3s8B
Kyrie has told his bench crew to play hard all the time, and they will win games. They listened last night, and Jaylen, Aron, Gordon and T-Ro all made significant contributions to a much-needed win over a tough rival. We hope it continues.
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Photo via Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images