Assistant Sports Editor
The final week of the NBA’s regular season is upon us and the Boston Celtics enter it off of two straight wins against the Milwaukee Bucks 140-99 and the Utah Jazz 122-114. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue their dominance this season on a team with aspirations for a championship.
During the blowout win against the Bucks, Tatum and Brown combined for 70 points in only three quarters. Tatum had 40, and shot 80% from three, knocking down eight in total. He had a spectacular game, but having a large lead throughout the game resulted in him being able to rest. Brown had 30 and shot 65% from the field, again due to the blowout they were able to sit and rest.
The Jays, Brown and Tatum, are one of the best duos in the NBA when they are both on their game. In order for the Celtics to have success in the playoffs, they need their whole team to play well, especially the Jays.
The recipe for winning games needs to come out of this win against the Bucks. Yes, the Bucks were coming off playing a back to back and might have been tired, but it proves each team always has to stay ready. The Celtics need their star duo to be on their game knocking down shots, and not shooting poorly, as does the rest of the team. Despite a blowout against one of the other top teams in the NBA, they struggled against the Jazz, who have been decent this year.
The Jazz have been flirting with being .500 all year, yet the Celtics only beat them by eight. Brown struggled this game, only scoring 12 points on a 5/19 shooting night. An off night from him, led to Tatum picking up the slack. He had 39 points on 70% shooting and made 10/11 free throws.
This team is difficult to rank/research how well they will do in the playoffs. Boston has a tendency to play hard and fast through the first three quarters. If they enter the fourth with a lead, they play lackadaisical defense and it seems they don’t care at the task at hand. Head Coach Joe Mazzulla has been able to draw up plays and scenarios for the team, but if the team as a whole has no interest in actually trying then they lose.
The consistency of Tatum and Brown is what will make or break their playoff run this year. Everyone knows they can score 30 points every game, but on some days they are off and shoot poorly. How they react to missing shots and losing a lead will reflect on the whole team.
The Celtics as a whole have only one goal in mind. That goal is to win an NBA championship. They were two wins away in last year’s finals against the Golden State Warriors. In order for the Celtics to make it back, they need to play hard and consistently. If the Jays are off then Malcolm Brogdon, Marcus Smart and Derrick White need to step up. All three are capable of scoring, but if they crack under pressure then the team is in trouble. Despite the inconsistencies of the team, they still very much have a high chance of making it back to the finals.
The NBA season ends on Sunday, April 9. The NBA Playoffs will follow, as of the current standings, the Celtics are the two seed and will most likely face the Miami Heat in the first round.