BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are off to a 1-0 start to the season after a convincing win at home against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Celtics look right back where they left off. Even with an interim head coach, Joe Mazzulla, both ends of the floor were flowing at a championship pace.
Here are a few takeaways:
Jayson Tatum is on a Mission for All NBA Defensive Team
We saw swarming defense from Tatum opening night. He was hard double-teaming Joel Embiid all night long, forcing him to give up the ball. We saw him staying with quick driving guards and using his length to block shots. Tatum also got multiple steals from his hard doubles on Embiid and picking off lazy passes.
Without Robert Williams, Tatum will look to anchor the defense and we should see career rebounding numbers from him. In big games against players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Embiid, and Kevin Durant, we will continue to see these double-teams from Tatum, which should lead to a lot more steals and breakouts for the C’s.
Grant Williams Came to Play
I said it before and I’ll say it again, the league will be on notice of Grant Williams. Aside the tough foul calls that limited his minutes in the first half, Grant played a perfect basketball game.
Shooting 100% from the field and guarding Embiid for 24 minutes of action. Williams was pushing Embiid off his spots all night. Getting in him and making his catches uncomfortable.
He found ole reliable last night with his corner three spot. Showing a new skill set with head fake, one dribble jump shots, and step backs. If Grant can stay out of foul trouble this season, we should see 25-30 minutes a game. Guarding the other teams’ best player and hitting shots makes for a winning combination.
A big opening night win over a big-time conference rival is not winning the championship, but it does represent a great start for the Celtics as they begin their quest to get back to the NBA Finals.