Battered Boston beats Clipped Clippers in what was a very well played game by two great teams. The Los Angeles Clippers (17-7) were without second leading scorer Paul George. Boston Celtics (12-9) second leading scorer Jaylen Brown was also out. Clippers defensive sparkplug Patrick Beverley missed his seventh straight game. Boston Celtics defensive sparkplug Marcus Smart was missing his third. In a very real way this was an even matchup between one of the best teams in the Western Conference and one from the Eastern Conference. In fact, if you want to be fair, the Celtics were without Daniel Theis for most of this game and Ivica Zubac had a great game. So, advantage Clippers, right?
Eh, not to much.
The Clippers started strong but the Celtics finished stronger. Led by Jayson Tatum, 34 points and 7 rebounds, the Celtics prevailed 119-115.
STAR OF THE GAME
The best player on the floor tonight, from tip to 0:0 wore green. Jayson Tatum showed off moves that hinted at the types of players he wants to emulate. His mid-range was Kawhi-esque. His corner fadeway had Kobe Bryant written all over it. Tatum is clearly a student of the game and has the talent to pull it off. I can make the Kawhi midrange without a problem in my backyard. Without anyone guarding me or watching me. Really! I’m actually pretty phenomenal; MVP of my backyard without a doubt. The difference between me and Jayson Tatum is he does it with Kawhi Leonard gaurding him!
Reggie Jackson, who had been playing very good basketball of late, started the game, played 21 minutes and contributed 2 points and 5 assists. Worse yet, he was 0-4 from the field. In short, he was bad. If the Clippers get even middle of the road Reggie they could have won this game. Another concern was the play of Luke Kennard. Kennard started in place of Paul George and played like him in a very real way in the first quarter. He had 8 points on 3-4 shooting in 8 minutes to start the game and was playing with confidence. Over the next 17 minutes of play he contributed 5 points. Kennard did not play bad, he just seemed to disappear after the first quarter. This may be equal parts a player issue and a coaching issue. Regardless, it’s a concern.
Boston Celtics Carsen Edwards came into this game averaging 5 points per game in 9 minutes of action. Tonight he played 30 minutes for the Celtics and dropped 16 on the Clippers. Every team that plays professionally, regardless of the sport, talks about the “Next Man Up” mentality when they are short players. In a very real way, the Clippers “Next Man” didn’t contribute as much as the Celtics “Next Man” did. Carsen Edwards was the “Next Man Up” and he delivered! Battered Boston beats Clipped Clippers thanks in large part to Carsen Edwards. He had as much to do with this victory as Jayson Tatum did.
Vs Sacramento Kings, Sunday, February 7th at 12:00PM
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