The outcome of Boston’s final regular season game was largely inconsequential given that their seed had been solidified – they’re #2 and they’d be playing the #7 seed. The only thing that was yet to be decided heading into Wednesday night was which team, exactly, the Celtics would be playing.
And quick sidebar, guys, let me tell you- there seemed to be a MILLION different possible outcomes heading into tonight’s final games for everybody. Scratch that – I wouldn’t dream about telling you guys the details of how it breaks down, but luckily the good people at NBC Sports Boston made this handy graphic for us:
And shortly after the Celtics game it was decided – Boston would see Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.
Back to the final regular season game against the Nets: Stevens decided to sit Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum but said prior to tip that they’d be ready to go “if needed”. So basically, “worst case scenario and we suffer some more freak injuries, yea I’ll have to play them”. Luckily, the trio wouldn’t be needed on the way to Boston’s 55th win in their 82nd game.
Aron Baynes posted a career high 26 points on 12 of 23 shooting (52% from the field), and an astounding 9 offensive rebounds to boot (14 total). He was a beast and a main catalyst in the Celtics recording a season high FGA (102) tonight. Boston’s total domination on the boards (62 vs. the Nets 44) was emblematic of a larger effort the Celtics reserves gave during the entirety of tonight’s game. Whatever Stevens said to them heading into tonight, it worked. The Celtics dominated their seemingly meaningless game from tip-off until the final buzzer. Final Score: 110-97
Notes to Know
- Celtics led after each quarter. (Q1: 27-21, Q2: 53-43, Q3: 83-70)
- Our dear friend, the Dancing Bear, aka Guerschon Yabusele had 16 pts, 5 rebs, 2 steals, a block and a steal. My dude was EVERYWHERE.
- Our new friend, the man from China, aka Jonathan Gibson had yet another offensive outburst tonight. He finished with 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting (62% from the field). Now I’m starting to understand how he managed to average 33 points per game in his Chinese league.
- Baynes had 11 FGA after 10 minutes of game time and everyone was pretty much, like – “well, this won’t keep up, right?” – but sure enough. the Australian Hammer stayed aggressive through out. His high FGA count was explained when Mike Gorman reported Coach Stevens included a specific call to action for Baynes’ teammates during his halftime speech. Gorman said it was something along the lines of, “go get Aron 30 (points)”. While Baynes never quite got there, it’s still an awesome gesture to make towards your veteran, especially in front of such a young and impressionable team. Brad is the perfect players coach, IMO, as he the importance of proving you truly care for each individual player.
- Don’t sleep on Shane Larkin’s near triple-double, either. He shined as he finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. Keep in mind, Larkin is amidst a battle for what’s sure to be extremely limited minutes once Marcus Smart returns in the playoffs. This is just another example of great organizational structure by Boston: Ainge acquires bunches of skilled yet hungry and under-appreciated players, Coach Stevens then knows how to leverage his game to get the most out of their abilities, and Celtics Nation (it’s employees, players, and fans) are all winners. Rinse. Repeat. Raise Banner(s) – hopefully.