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Knight's Notes on a Philly Special - Thoughts on Celtics win over Sixers

   

          A Full Celtics Roster! Everyone Is Healthy! It's Go Time! 

      1st Quarter 

     Coming Out Hot Tonight 

     Unlike most first quarters, tonight we saw the Celtics looking to ball! Alley oops all over the place, guys were moving the ball, and shot selection was very controlled. Celtics fan should note Al was three for three to start, a revenge game?! Robert Williams presence in this lineup brings a spark that was missing. He just does it all, and his energy is electric. 

     Defense Defense DEFENSE!!!

     Watching the Celtics when they put effort and heart on the court, we get very good results. When they are locked in on defense, we get a glimpse of how good they can be. They still had mental lapses but they frustrated Mr. Embid, which this writer loves to see. What this writer doesn't like to see is a big man of his talent flailing and falling to the ground, man up your a big! 

Celtics lead 21-20, the lead should be more but we will take it. 

     2nd Quarter  

     Holding the Big Man Down 

     Most NBA fans want to see the stars score as much as possible. Not tonight! So far the Celtics have held Joel Embid to only four points. That shows that they had a defensive game plan to slow him down and they have. Now if they can institute a play to shut down Shake Milton we can win this game going away. 

     Tatum Can Do More Than Score 

     We saw JT get his points in the first half, with some nice moves and draining his shots. What was most impressive was his rebounding, grabbing 9 boards in the first half. He only had one assist, but it was a loud one to RWill! What is also becoming evident about his game is, when he has the ball he attracts the D and gets the rock to his teammates. His ability to facilitate is underrated. 

Celtics lead 44-41, defensively they are shutting down the Sixers big playas, now they just need to shut down their bench guys and tonight could be a smooth win.

     3rd Quarter 

     Solid D Continues  

     The solid D made it's impact, but Philly came out throwing haymakers just like Rocky Balboa. The Celtics responded with their own shots to the body with some smooth offensive passing and play. It's wasn't just one guy on offense it was a team effort. Defensively they still did a darn good job against Embid. 

     Just A Thought 

     It has nothing to do with the third but just thinking about how well the Wolverine and RWill connect with each other game after game. They have quite a great connection and it continues to grow. This is and can be a huge asset as the Celtics hit the road. Williams brings the hurt to the rim when ever possible.

Celtics lead 64-63, it's gonna be a dog fight to the end. 

     4th Quarter 

     Holding the Big Fella Down 

     While the NBA enjoys lots of points from their stars, tonight showed defense wins games. Shutting down the opposing teams star leads to wins like tonight. If it wasn't for going to the line the Celtics would have held Embid to single digit points. Overall they need to remember this game and how they shut down this star and bring it to the other stars on the road. 

     JT Was Money and Impacted the Game 

     JT did what greats do, and that is impact the game when it matters most. The fourth quarter, he did what was needed whether it meant making the right pass or grinding for boards. Watching him get to the hoop is magic. The more he passes up threes for drives is what this team needs. He's changing and adapting his game in positive ways. 

Celtics win 88-87 in a defensive slugfest. Give me more games like this where Defense matters. 



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