Celtics Soar on West Coast, Embrace Team Momentum for Success

Celtics Soar on West Coast, Embrace Team Momentum for Success

The Boston Celtics finished a four-game West Coast road trip with a Christmas Day win against the Los Angeles Lakers, making it three straight to reward a handful of encouraging signs. The Celtics responded with a slow start to the Golden State Warriors, who fell out of the top 10 of the Western Conference when they lost in overtime. Boston continued a streak of more than 140 points, first against the Sacramento Kings, then the Los Angeles Clippers, before finally bowing out – beating LeBron James and the Lakers.

Depth, third-quarter urgency and much more timely adjustments to swing the pendulum back in Boston’s favor, Al Horford highlighted one key area that played a crucial role in keeping the C’s in the win column. “Our momentum,” Horford told reporters during Thursday’s practice via CLNS Media video. “I really like how our guys got into transition and I feel like we really challenge each other. It started with Jaylen (Brown). Jaylen did a great job of getting to the open floor … And then it came.

Jayson (Tatum ) did that, Derrick (White) made sure he pushed the pace. Jrue (went down) picking up the pace every chance he got.” It’s easy to hope for Tatum or Brown to routinely play as a leader, but that doesn’t help the overall growth of the team. Boston’s offensive unit — now more than ever in the Tatum-Brown era — has a handful of versatile scorers capable of being No. 1 on any given night.

 

That makes the current approach of everyone getting a piece of the pie much more profitable for someone. a team with make-or-break expectations. The current starting five of Tatum, Brown, White, Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis provides a complete unit of All-Star caliber talent capable of scoring inside, outside and defense, all at a high level. When you look around the league at what other organizations are trying to make work, you can see how much luxury the Celtics have.

And the divide in talent will only become more evident in the rankings if Boston makes recent adjustments to general habits. Three out of four is an obvious plus, but applying what the Celtics have learned will be necessary to make the long-term improvements needed in the offseason.

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