Boston Celtics talent on full display in dominating week

Mar 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) goes between Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) and forward Anthony Edwards (1) during the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) goes between Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) and forward Anthony Edwards (1) during the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

To paraphrase Will Smith in the film Men in Black, the Boston Celtics make this look good.

The “this”, to be fair, is not that the Celtics are galaxy defenders (though they could be). The “this”, in this instance, is playing the game of basketball, every time they take the court.

It’s not just one or two players doing the work, either.  Scorers are scoring, passers are passing, and rebounders are… well, you get the point.  Bench players, too, are upping their output and the Celtics defense continues to excel.

Basically, all in a week’s work for the Boston Celtics.

Boston Celtics: Another week, trending upward

The gold standard of winning continued this last week, as Boston swept three games and ran their winning streak to six. The Celtics have won 11 of 12 and are 22-3 in their last 25 games.

As it is now, they are firmly entrenched among the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. Seven games remain on the schedule for Boston and, as playoff seeding becomes more clear, the Celtics reached the top spot of the East as Sunday came to a close.

It was a week of high scoring for the Celtics, as Boston averaged a shade over 130 points in their three victories. The average margin of victory? A touch under 20 points.

Wins over Oklahoma City (132-123) and Minnesota (134-112) were expected but it was a dismantling of the Utah Jazz that truly impressed.

It began at the top, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scoring 26 points, with Brown going 10-17 from the field.

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The Celtics connected on 19-36 from three-point range and Marcus Smart was in a zone, finishing with 13 assists. The bench, too, contributed with 47 points. And Payton Pritchard is just one aspect of that unit playing well.

Pritchard continued his hot streak, adding another 40 points in the last three games. And in his last five, Pritchard is 20-29 on three-point attempts.

Derrick White, Daniel Theis, and the return of Aaron Nesmith have all helped out as the bench chipped in 42 points against Minnesota. And though he was a starter, Grant Williams rose to the occasion earlier in the week with 20 points and 10 rebounds against the Thunder.

But it’s still about the dynamic duo and their outstanding play and impressive leadership.

Tatum averaged 32 points per game during the week, capped off by a 34-point effort in Sunday’s victory over the Timberwolves. Brown joined him in the 30-point club, with 31, and finished the week averaging just over 27 points per game.

Brown has regained his shooting touch as of late, shooting 52 percent or better in his last five games. It’s been great to see his progress, too, with being selective on his three-point attempts. Brown has 27 in the last five games, connecting on 14 of them.

Tatum and Brown continue to grow their game and it is good to see others stepping up around them, especially with four games in the upcoming week.

Boston Celtics: Peeking at the week ahead

A slate of Eastern Conference foes are on the horizon for the Celtics, three of which are either jockeying for playoff position or haven’t quite been eliminated yet.

And the Celtics may have to win some games without the services of Robert Williams III.

Williams sprained his left knee in the third quarter against Minnesota and will not travel to Toronto for Monday’s contest.

The Raptors currently hold the sixth spot. Boston is 2-1 against Toronto this season but the teams haven’t met since late-November, a 109-97 Celtics victory.

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After the quick trip up north, Boston returns home for their final three home games of the 2021-22 regular season. First, they look for a season-sweep in a very important match-up with the Miami Heat on 3/30.

Boston is 2-0 against Miami this season, with an average margin of victory of 23.5 points.

On Friday (4/1), the Celtics look to get a little payback from one of their “bad” losses within the last month. They welcome the Indiana Pacers to town, who defeated Boston by 21 in a game where everything seemed to bounce the Pacers way.

The Celtics defeated Indiana in the teams’ two previous contests.

Closing out the home slate for the regular season is a game on 4/3 against Washington. The Wizards could be out of playoff contention by then but there should still be plenty to play for. Boston is 1-2 against Washington this season but those losses were all the way back in October.

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The Celtics are headed into this week shorthanded (with Al Horford also possibly not available on Monday). If Williams and Horford miss extended time, a couple of losses would not be unexpected. But with this team, and the way they are constantly adapting and improving, keeping the winning streak going is also a strong possibility. Either way, there will be no sleeping on this team come playoff time, galaxy defenders or not.