An 11 point, 8 rebound and 8 assist game for Marcus Smart not only kept the 8-2 C’s (best record in NBA) alive on both ends of the floor, but showed the capabilities of how deep this Celtics team really is. Six guys on Boston’s roster scored in double figures, as the selfless Celtics took out the surging Magic 104-88 for eight straight victories after an 0-2 stump to start the season. No team in history has achieved that feat.
With the Celtics accumulating double figure points from six players, it shows incredible team effort basketball. Matching up against a stretch four forward in Aaron Gordon, the C’s tried to lock him down, but allowed 18 points and 12 boards to the former Arizona standout. Marcus Morris and Al Horford along with whoever the three was in each quarter (Brown, Tatum), split duties on covering Gordon but all Boston players who did, never lacked offensively either. Horford contributed 14 points and his mark on defense with 10 boards ripped down to go with 4 assists. Second year guy Jaylen Brown continues his reign, dropping 18 points to go with 7 boards and two steals in 28 minutes. Chemistry was essential in Orlando, as finding the open man in the corner required fast passes and quick looks. Brown was a key part of the offensive game along with point guard Kyrie Irving (11 points 0-4 3pt range). Irving struggled on shooting, but nonetheless helped the C’s in other areas. Terry Rozier was another big contributor, gathering an impressive seven rebounds with 6 points. The duel of Rozier and Marcus Smart on the floor helps heave the ball in transition along with giving opponents two fierce guards who will sacrifice their bodies to help the team.
From the Orlando side, a 16 point loss was not a blowout by all means. Keeping the whole game within reach, the now 6-4 Magic matched up well against the C’s, with the exception of a makeshift change at point guard since both D.J. Augustin and Elfrid Payton were both listed out for the game due to injuries. Former Spurs player Jonathan Simmons, who signed a 3 year deal with Orlando this past offseason, rose up to the challenge as the starting point guard, dropping 14 points. Both Aaron Gordon and center Nikola Vucevic snagged double doubles, as Vucevic helped the offense tremendously with veteran post moves and mid range shooting. Impressive rookie Jonathan Issac, the one and done player from Florida State, came in off the bench and scored 9 points and grabbed 6 boards. The lanky 20 year old forward/center is a nice bench player so far with this group of players, who are mixed with veteran leaders and youthful athletes.
Next game for Boston- 11/6 @ Atlanta