Celtics sting Hornets, Marcus Smart erupts, and vintage Blake Griffin

Boston Celtics. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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The depth of the Boston Celtics has really been on display the last two games.

After cruising by the Washington Wizards on Sunday night without Jayson Tatum, the Celtics put on an offensive onslaught Monday night with a 140-105 swarming of the Charlotte Hornets at TD Garden.  Impressively they did it without Jaylen Brown and Al Horford who watched from the bench in street clothes.

The Celtics took care of the Hornets in the first quarter of this one.  Behind the host shooting of just about everyone who stepped on the court in the first 12 minutes, the Celtics ran out to a 27-point lead at one point in the quarter giving Charlotte just no thought of making it a competitive game.

Tatum was Tatum in leading the team with 35 points, Marcus Smart was knocking down threes, Derrick White was knocking down threes, Blake Griffin who started in place of Horford was hustling all over the court and Malcolm Brogdon came off the bench on fire finishing the game with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting along with 5 rebound and 6 assists.

By the end of the quarter, the Celtics already hit 10 3-pointers on a night in which they would go on to score 140 points.  Take away some sloppy play at times in the game and there was a feeling the defending Eastern Conference champions could’ve put up way more than that.

Boston Celtics offense continue to shine at a historic pace

With a season-high 40 assists to go along with the 140-point night, the Celtics did it with ball movement, efficient shooting and just plan out-hustling the Hornets who were without former Celtics players Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier.

In improving their record to 17-4 with the blowout victory, the Celtics are looking like a well-oiled machine who will get only better once Robert Williams return.  As Brogdon stated after the game, what the team is doing so far this season is a real treat and one that each player on the team has to embrace.

"“This is a treat for any NBA player,” Brogdon said, as transcribed by NESN.  “Whether you ask Marcus Smart, Tatum, Brown, anybody, it’s a treat to play on a team like this.  It’s honestly a common conversation I have with guys, just about appreciating where they are.  Marcus, Jayson, Jaylen, Grant, these guys haven’t seen other teams, so they don’t know how other organizations, other teams, how everything works in other places.  So there’s a lot of good here, from the top down – the leadership down to the PTs, the players.  There’s a lot of good here.”"

What a difference a year makes.  At this time last season, that leadership and “good” were being questioned. Now it has all come together in a dominant fashion.