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Last night, the Celtics beat the Lakers with Jaylen Brown scoring 40 points on only 20 shots. Have the Celtics finally figured it out?
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Anything is possible is brought to you by the Sophie Daily Podcast. Did you know that 37 of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected $400 expense? April is national financial literacy month, which means it's time to expand your financial knowledge and that all starts with having the right information for facts, analysis and updates related to markets and financial awareness listened to the Sophie Daily podcast every week day search for so fi wherever you get your podcasts. Oh fast Close out because he's pulling up from vinyard Gangrene. It's no other way. So tune into the part. If you plan on staying up today, you heard. Okay way. Welcome to I got the boston Celtics podcast here on the athletic podcast network. I'm your host, SAm Jam Packard professional sports fan and I am joined as always by the kid the God, the legend himself Celtics beat reporter for the Athletic J King. Ladies and gentlemen and everything is groovy and Celtics town. Uh that's corny, corny and sell. It was a ridiculous thing to say. But I would maintain that it is true. The Celtics have won three games in a row, five of their last six. They are five and two since a couple of podcasts ago when I declared that the vibes were immaculate and that the vibes were rebounding. J it wasn't my declaration. That kind of allowed the Celtics to kind of see just like what they needed to do to play better basketball. Uh, Was it the return of Romeo Langford? What is the biggest reason for the Celtics just playing good? Like consistently, I would argue you had a premature celebration of the return via five and 2 since I declared the vibes immaculate. However, right after that was a terrible loss, if I recall correctly, another outlier loss where they just like it was Luca and the big comeback, I think the vibes were still there. The soul crushing loss was against the Sixers. But other than that they just one basketball games and they're on a three game streak. They started uh, last podcast I talked about the four games and what the impact they could have. The four no possibility is still available by winning those first two games. I think the most impressive wind has to be Denver coming back. What was it? Fork down 14 close to the end of the third quarter and just the defense stepping up and just stopping the nuggets from scoring. Uh, I know you have some fancy numbers about how good the defense has been explained this, how the Celtics manages to turn it around and become a great defensive team. Yeah. I mean, I'm not ready to label them a great defensive team yet, but that's there. You can tell them to get excited from the returns Over the last 10 games or so have been promising. I think, you know, part of that has been the schedule. They played a few bad teams during that stretch. That was helpful. It was helpful to be at home for I think seven straight games during that stretch, all of that goes into it. But even with all of those things, the Celtics would not have piled up those stops consistently earlier in the season. I think a lot has gone into it. I think obviously Jason Tatum is growing, it seems stronger um as he's further out from his covid case and I think that matters a lot. I think Romeo Langford's return to the lineup. Like it's it's not the most important thing, but it just allows flexibility and defensive versatility and strategies that quite frankly brad stevens couldn't really turn to when he went to the bench previously. And so now he's going with Romeo and Grant Williams and Tristan Thompson off the bench and that's a hard nosed group. And Tristan Thompson has played really well since returning. I think his defense has been really good robert Williams has been helpful as since taking on the role of of starter. And so I think a lot of factors for the Celtics are kind of Pointing upward on the defensive side of the court over the last 10 games. They have a defensive rating that would rank second in the league over the full season, which is so far different from what they've been wild stead. And you know, you can point to some of the games and say, you know, this this is a bad team against the yeah, the hornets without a bunch of guys, Timberwolves actually have like a lot of pretty good offensive players um and put up a lot of points. Yeah, but like that Denver game the last What, 14 minutes? That's the most locked in defensive stretch we've seen from the Celtics or one of the most locked in in a while. And I say that not just because Like they only allowed eight points during that final 14 minutes, which is ridiculous or not because Denver went three for 23 but brad stevens, I told the guys like you're gonna switch and you're gonna we're gonna have grant Williams on Nicola Yokich and robert Williams is gonna help off Aaron Gordon on the weak side. Which is not something robert Williams has ever really been asked to do. And and they did it and they did it on the fly and like defensive intelligence has not really been the forte of this team. I think we've seen a lot of break scouting report breakdowns and so for them to lock into something that was kind of a curveball strategy that that they've never really tried before, I think that's really promising. And it speaks to where, you know, this team is heading mentally, which is a different place maybe than it was 10 games ago.