The Boston Celtics took the trip to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to face the New York Knicks. Last season, the Knicks were better than the Celtics. However, some may think that it was just a fluke.
The Celtics started off hot, but the Knicks came roaring back. This was a classic game, despite it being the first game of the season. So many twists and turns occurred.
The Knicks looked poised to take the game away, but Marcus Smart hit a game tying three to send it into overtime. Another overtime soon followed, with tired legs mounting on the players in the game.
By the end of the game, the Knicks prevailed and took down the Celtics 138-134. It was a great and exciting game with some takeaways on the Boston side afterwards.
Jaylen Brown Looks Elite
Perhaps the biggest takeaway on both sides was the play of Jaylen Brown. Brown started the game after a short bout with Covid that almost took him out of the season opener. Well, he did not miss a step.
The first quarter saw him take off for 20 points. By the end of the game, he scored a career high 46 points. He was electric all night long.
Brown had a career year last season, while making his first All-Star team. There is a chance that he is ready to take another leap, which would be extremely beneficial for the future outlook of the Celtics.
Robert Williams is Tapping Into the Potential
Robert Williams has not had much of an opportunity thus far in his NBA career. Last season was his first time tasting real action, but in a limited role. However, towards the end of the season, we saw some true promise.
That promise garnered a nice contract extension of four years for $54 million. His first game of the season was a joy to watch. Williams finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and five blocks.
It was an all-around performance for the young big man. Expect to see more of that defensive force from Williams. The Celtics might have struck gold in him.
Old Habits Emerge for Tatum
One of the biggest knocks on Jayson Tatum’s young career is always the shot selection. He has a bad tendency to take difficult shots, when there are easier ones to obtain. However, that problem seemed to be fixed last season.
Tatum had a great year and has the potential to be such an elite scorer in this league. Unfortunately, we did not see that side of him on Wednesday night. Instead, we saw the frustrating Tatum.
Throughout the game, Tatum was forcing three after three. Driving to the basket was not an option on most plays for him, as he really wanted to get his jumper going.
However, it never got going, as he went 7-30 from the field and 2-15 from three. Tatum even forced a last second shot in the first overtime for the win, rather than giving it to the hot hand in Brown. Tatum struggled tremendously. Hopefully the old habits have not returned for good.
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