Assistant Sports Editor
Jayson Tatum scored 43 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Detroit Pistons 117-108 on Saturday for their sixth straight win. After falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-113 in overtime on Nov. 2, the Celtics have yet to lose a game and are making their presence known in the Eastern Conference. Recent wins include:
A 123-119 win versus the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 4.
A blowout 133-118 victory over the New York Knicks on Nov. 5.
A close win of 109-106 versus the Ja Morant-led Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 7.
A 128-112 win against the Pistons on Nov. 9.
And a decisive 131-112 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 11.
Both the Celtics and Pistons were without two key pieces in their offense, since Cade Cunningham of the Pistons is out with a shin injury, and Jaylen Brown sat out due to knee soreness.
Tatum and the rest of the Celtics were able to step up in the absence of Brown and push through for the win. Tatum scored 28 of his now season high 43 points in the first half, and did not stop there as he grabbed 10 rebounds to go with it. Tatum has struggled with shooting efficiently these past few seasons, but has shot 50% from the field so far in this season, which contributes to the Celtics’ early success. Grant Williams stepped it up this game, too, scoring 19 points on 58% shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds as well. It is evident that this team is deep and has a group of players who can contribute and be efficient when one of their stars is out. Marcus Smart was the key playmaker in this game. Malcolm Brogdon being inactive paved the way for Smart to be the main ball handler for the starters and the bench. He racked up 10 assists while adding 18 points in the win.
Ever since the overtime loss against the Cavaliers, Boston has looked more cohesive as a team in every aspect. They struggled during those final minutes with sloppy offense and defense, but have turned it around and can close out games better than before. They had this same problem early on last year with their then-rookie Head Coach, Ime Udoka. This season is no different as Joe Mazzulla is leading the team as a rookie head coach. In the first 13 games, Mazzulla has shown glimpses of greatness as the coach but also made some mistakes as any young coach will do. He has gotten better and seems to be running the same system and style of coaching as he did when he was an assistant coach last season.
Over the course of their six-game win streak, the Celics played several tough matchups, but prevailed in all of them, cruising to victory in some of those games. The wins have come against some good teams and some mediocre ones, but Boston looks to continue their win streak as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday at 7:30 p.m.