The Boston Celtics have gone up 2-0 against the Indiana Pacers in the playoffs, and in the process they’ve showed the NBA why they were favorites to get to the Finals at the start of the season.
The C’s have shown exactly why they were picked to head to the NBA Finals when the season first started. The whole season has just been leading up to the playoffs, and this is a team built for this moment.
Having Marcus Smart on the bench instead of in uniform has definitely been less than ideal, however, Kyrie Irving has turned up his intensity, making plays on the defensive end while being ‘playoff Kyrie’ on the offensive end. Jayson Tatum is back to his playoff ways and poured in 26 points during Game 2, while Jaylen Brown grabbed nine rebounds and made important plays to help the Celtics come back and win.
Al Horford wasn’t feeling great for Game 2, but he made plays in the fourth quarter when the team desperately needed their veteran big man.
Gordon Hayward chipped in 13 points off the bench, and pulled down five rebounds. There have been too many turnovers to be comfortable with, but this team seems to be rounding into shape.
The offensive weapons are showing up.
Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward coming off the bench while Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford are playing well is a huge deal.
It’s an advantage for the C’s depth that no other team can match, and this is the time of year where it really matters.
Seeing Kyrie elevate his game to a different level makes it hard to believe this team went to the Eastern Conference Finals without him and Hayward last season. However, as he makes play after play, it’s easy to see how that team from last season really could have used him in the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics are up 2-0 and are locked in, they have playmaker after playmaker and a point guard who hit the biggest shot in NBA Finals history. The rest of the NBA is definitely paying attention.