Our Victory Against the Hornets Showed Just How Strong the Entire Roster is
The Celtics showed once again why they’re the best team in the East, clinching their 12th straight victory by mounting a staggering comeback against the Charlotte Hornets. Not only that, but they did so without Hayward, Horford, and Irving; after an unfortunate swing of Baynes’ arm caught Irving in the face, it looked as though the Celtics would be battling the odds yet again. It seemed as though the entire roster had lost their focus when Kyrie went off after a minute – a very familiar sight for those of us that were watching Hayward’s sickening fall on opening day, but like always, they found that fire and battled back.
One thing has been abundantly clear this season: don’t discount the Celtics. Not in the 1st quarter, not in the 4th – not ever. We have shown countless times why we can beat the odds and prove the world wrong. It ain’t luck, my friends – it’s down to pure heart, heaps of potential, and copious amounts of ability that seems to present itself when we’re pushed to the absolute limit. Let’s not forget, this team is filled to the brim with rookies, and most of them are already having to play lots of minutes to replace the injured Hayward. Also, against the Lakers there was no Al Horford, and even Tatum, one of the star rookies had to leave the game due to a sore ankle, so the step up to the NBA has been a steep one for most of the team to say the least.
Now, an injured Irving (although we’re not sure how severe the injury is now) might force us to rely on them even more, but the thing is, I’m not worried. Whether it’s relying on the rookies or the rest of our bench, I’m more than confident, and the result against Charlotte only solidified that. Don’t get me wrong, when an injury to one of your star players happens very early on in a game, you’re going to feel nervous, especially when Charlotte took such a significant lead early on, but it was with the professionalism and skill at which they recovered that gave me the confidence to know we’re going to be alright. I know we’ll probably have Horford and Irving back sooner rather than later, but even if we didn’t, these rookies are already showing their potential, and I know that in a few seasons this Boston team will have the talent to compete with the guys like the Warriors (hell, you never know what’ll happen on November 14th).
Take Shane Larkin for example; he scored when it mattered, picking up 16 points in just 17 minutes, dropping some very important baskets. He can break away from the defence at a moment’s notice and find freedom to shoot from anywhere, along with having a solid three-point game. Theis came on and forced his way to the basket, and made some strong defensive plays too, and Tatum was also back to cause problems for Charlotte’s defence, picking up what was inevitably the best play of the game with that lay-up. It’s just a shame that the officiating was so poor throughout, giving out some awful foul calls against the Cs.
When you look at the stats, we had more rebounds (49 to their 47), more steals, and we made much better use of the turnovers, scoring 15 points off them as opposed to their 9. All of these factors played into our win, along with other fantastic performances from Jaylen Brown (10 points and 13 rebounds), Marcus Morris (14 points and 7 rebounds), Terry Rozier (15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists), and the ever-passionate Marcus Smart (8 points and 7 assists). Whilst Aron Baynes didn’t play as well as he did against the Lakers, he still showed exactly why Boston are a good fit for him, and even without the famed dishes from Kyrie, he still managed to get some points, and make 7 rebounds.
We missed Kyrie Irving out there, but after a fight, we beat Charlotte and we deserved it. Hopefully Kyrie will be back in the team to face a strong looking Toronto, as well as Horford, because the Raptors are looking good out there. But if we don’t have them, you can guarantee that everyone on the Boston roster will put in one hell of a performance. It’s taking a little longer for guys like Yabusele and Nader to make their mark, but it’s coming, and our pre-season games showed that these guys have got it in the to make a difference, and there’s still Ojeleye who’s slowly and steadily getting better and better. Regardless, there’s enough there to give us our 12th win in a row and take us that one step closer to becoming this season’s champions.