After last night’s heavyweight matchup between the 13-2 Boston Celtics and the 11-3 Golden State Warriors, the NBA Universe was overcome with shock and awe. With Boston’s 13 game win streak on the line, many fans did not expect the performance that was to follow. Here are my quick hitting points from the game, and what we truly learned:
The Boston Celtics are the Realest of Real
Six minutes into the NBA season, and his Celtics career, Gordon Hayward, the recipient of a 4 year, $128million contract this past offseason, broke his ankle, and to most fans, effectively ended the Celtics’ title chances. Since that game, a loss, 110-107 to the reigning Eastern Conference champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and a subsequent loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics are 14-0. Kyrie Irving has turned into the leader all of Celtics nation wanted him to be, even with his porous shooting through the early stages of the season. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been more than impressive, with the latter having his best season yet, averaging 15PPG and 7RPG. The competition for these first 16 games has not been the best, I will say that, with wins against a non-Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs, the lowly Lakers, and the even lower Brooklyn Nets. However, with wins against Oklahoma City, Toronto, and now Golden State, this team doesn’t only look like a team of the future (@ Steve Kerr), this team looks like a team of the present.
Stephen Curry is Truly the MVP of the Golden State Warriors
Preface: I am a Steph Curry hater. I don’t like the way he plays; he honestly just irks me to my inner soul. But real recognize real, Steph Curry is the most important player on that team, hands down. Curry finished last night with a line of 9-6-5, and his shooting looks plain off, going only 2-9 from the three-point arc, and committing 4 turnovers. Obviously the Warriors have four unbelievable players on their team, four Hall of Fame caliber players in my opinion, but to say that someone is more valuable to the team than Stephen Curry? Asinine. Curry is the engine that makes the train run, the floor general, the vocal leader on and off the court. A team is only as good as its best player, and its best player is not Kevin Durant, its best player is Wardell Stephen Curry.
Marcus Smart is Expendable
“With the 6th overall pick, in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select…Marcus Smart, Point Guard, Oklahoma State University” GOD HELP MY SOUL. Smart’s lackluster effort on the offensive end last night, (0-7 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-2 FT, along with 3TOs) leads me to finally call him an expendable asset for the Boston Celtics. Smart’s jump shot is less than inconsistent, it’s unreliable. His passing ability and rebounding skills are more than competent, but his jump shot and offensive promise just isn’t there. Obviously, Smart’s defenders will say that his defense makes up for his awful offensive game, which it does, to an extent. But there’s no such thing as just defensive basketball. Scoring points wins games, and with the ball in Marcus Smart’s hands, at least when he’s shooting, yea, I’ll pass. Moreover, the emergence of Terry Rozier as a rising talent for this team leads Smart to become expendable, especially while his contract his up at the end of this season, and he will become a Restricted Free Agent.
Brad Stevens is the Coach of the Year
Already? Yes, already. Stevens has coached the Celtics to a 14-2 record through 16 games, all without Hayward, 2 without Al Horford, and 1 without Kyrie Irving. Stevens has engineered two 18-point comebacks, one on the road at Oklahoma City, and the other at home against the Charlotte Hornets, not to mention the 17-point comeback last night (TWICE) against the reigning champs. Somehow it will go to Steve Kerr though *shrugs*.