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The Celtics Collapse Again

The Celtics collapse again. The Pelicans came back from being down 24 to beat the Celtics 120-115 in overtime. That comeback by the Pelicans set a franchise record. It was a wild finish to regulation. Jayson Tatum hit the game tying floater with 0.2 seconds on the clock to send the game to OT. Zion Williamson had 4 points on 1-5 shooting in the first half. In the 2nd half, he absolutely dominated the Celtics. He finished the game with 28 points on 11-21 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Boston’s backcourt of Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker was not great at all. Jaylen made some nice plays down the stretch, but Kemba was horrible tonight. Stan Van Gundy subbed in Nicolo Melli to start the 4th quarter and it was a great decision. He finished a +18 tonight which tied Josh Hart for the best for both teams.

STAR OF THE GAME

During his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, there were some doubts that Brandon Ingram would develop into the star that many people envisioned. After being traded to the Pelicans last season, a lot of the doubters have since gone quiet. He won the Most Improved Player award last year and this year he has proven that last year was not a fluke. Today he was the best player on the court for both teams. His final stat line was 33 points on 11-22 shooting to go along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. He also hit a dagger 3 with 34.4 remaining to put the game out of reach for the Celtics. His growth in New Orleans has truly been spectacular to watch. Him and Zion will be a dynamic duo for many years to come.

BIGGEST CONCERN

Boston’s 4th quarter struggles are starting to become more frequent and it is a tough watch. The Celtics were outscored 34-21 in the 4th quarter. The offense was basically iso ball and bunch of 3’s. Kemba Walker finished the game 1-12 from 3 point range. Jayson Tatum, who was the best player on the court today for the Celtics, didn’t really see much of the ball down the stretch. That was mainly due to the Pelicans double teaming him on almost every drive and Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball playing great defense. Boston’s defense was actually pretty good for about 3 quarters, but just completely collapsed in the 4th. Zion got whatever he wanted and just out muscled everyone down the stretch. If Boston wants to be among the Eastern Conference elite, they need to close out games. Especially after leading by 24 points at one point.

SURPRISE CONTRIBUTION

Nicolo Melli was brought into the game in the 4th quarter to bring a spark off the bench and he did just that. He did not put up the stats, but his 3 point scoring ability spread the floor and allowed Zion Williamson to put in work in the paint. Josh Hart also had a pretty great game off the bench, but he usually provides energy and effort off the bench for the Pelicans almost daily. Stan Van Gundy took a gamble on putting in Nicolo Melli down the stretch and it ultimately payed off for him and the Pelicans.

Next Game

At Dallas Mavericks, Tuesday, February 23rd at 4:30 PM

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