Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics celebrate their return with a satisfying win

© Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics celebrate their return with a satisfying win

Celtics

Your Morning Dump… Where the Celtics celebrate their return with a satisfying win

By

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Celtics show no signs of rust in first game in a week: Jaylen Brown finished with a game-high 21 points and a career-high 8 assists in just 25 minutes, leading an undermanned Celtics team to a blowout win over the Magic on Friday night in their first game in a week. Six different Celtics scored in double figures for Boston in the midst of their fifth straight win overall — in arguably the best front-to-back effort of the year despite Jayson Tatum (health and safety protocols) being sidelined. Semi Ojeleye had a season-high 18 points and Jeff Teague added 17 points for the hosts, while Payton Pritchard paced the second unit with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in what was a dominant effort by the Celtics offense for the better part of four quarters.

Boston Sports Journal: BSJ Game Report: Celtics 124, Magic 97 — Jaylen Brown leads balanced effort in fifth straight victory

“We missed each other,” Smart said. “We missed being on that court.”

Globe: Celtics return in fine form, and other observations of their rout of the Magic

If my Twitter timeline means anything, Celtics fans were elated to watch them play after three straight postponements. Winning big while pulling away in the second half was the perfect ending.

Orlando was shorthanded, too, due to injury and illness, but it simply seemed to be Boston’s night. Ten Celtics players were on the floor between 18 and 28 minutes. All 12 who dressed scored and contributed in some fashion.

The Cs shot 51.1% from the field, made 17 threes, registered 25 assists, and led by as many as 29 points. They held the Magic to 40.4% shooting, including just 7 of 28 from the arc.

The win was Boston’s fifth straight, giving the Celts an 8-3 record and keeping them at the top of the Eastern Conference. All without Kemba Walker. Any doubts or worries about this group – and I admit, I had some – are just a memory now.

Related – MassLive: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics show no effects of week layoff, crush Orlando Magic, 124-97  |  Tacko Fall has guard skills: 5 things we learned from Boston Celtics blowout win over Magic

NBC Sports Boston: Celtics-Magic Overreactions: Tacko/Pritchard mania is here to stay

The Athletic: Tacko Fall dazzles, Semi Ojeleye finds his touch in Celtics’ return to the floor

John Karalis reporting from the Garden:

On Page 2: Relieved to be back

The Celtics returned from a nine-day break with a 124-97 win over the overwhelmed Magic, a game that transformed into a celebration of just being together, playing ball, and pushing aside COVID-19 tests, contact tracing, and canceled games.

The league has been knocked on its butt by the effects of the coronavirus. Three more games were postponed Friday, including the Minnesota-Memphis game just a few hours before tip. Less than an hour after that was announced, Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19, the virus that took his mother’s life last summer.

The Washington Wizards announced Friday that six players had tested positive for COVID-19 and three more players are in the league’s contact tracing protocol. A pair of weekend games against the Cleveland Cavaliers were postponed because Washington has just six healthy players. […]

“Just thank God that we’re able to play,” Ojeleye said. “We, now more than ever, need to realize that this can be taken away just like that. Every time we get a chance to get out there, whether we’re winning, losing, playing well or not, we need to remember that. And if this week hasn’t been a reminder, we don’t deserve to play at all.”

Globe: After a tough week on the sidelines, Celtics happy to return to work

To be honest, the Celtics avoided three probable losses by having those games postponed. If they’d been forced to play with just eight players – most of them guards – that would have been a tough situation to overcome.

Up next, the Celts host the Knicks on Sunday, then have two straight games at Philadelphia – all before Jayson Tatum will be eligible to return from his COVID isolation. It’s a fine opportunity to make a statement.

Related – MassLive: COVID-19 in NBA: Boston Celtics assistants Jay Larranaga, Jerome Allen miss game due to protocols

And, finally… Tackoooooo!!!

Just enjoy this:

Has there ever been a more glorious one minute and 19 seconds of video? This will be the opening of Tacko’s Hall of Fame highlight package.

The bench reaction was epic. Unfortunately, the banked three was called a two by the ref who doesn’t appreciate historic moments – but we know the truth.

And how about this nugget?

Jaylen leaves no doubt about what his teammates think.

The Rest of the Links:

The Athletic: Payton Pritchard’s nickname? Celtics’ trade plans? It’s mailbag time

Basketball Insiders: NBA Daily: Payton Pritchard — Boston’s Bench Band-Aid

More Sports

12hr

I’m trying to negotiate the dichotomy between being completely annoyed watching this team, and being sad that in two more weeks, we might not (…)

More Celtics