The Celtics began their playoff quest for a championship the right way Saturday. The C’s beat the Atlanta Hawks 112-99 in game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Things looked good for the C’s who were up 30 points at halftime. However, the lead dwindled and the C’s found themselves trying to fend off the Hawks last attempt to steal a win. Nonetheless, the C’s head into game 2 with a W, here’s some takeaways.
C’s are focused on Trae Young
It’s no surprise that Trae Young is the best Hawk on the team. But in game 1 the point guard only put up 16 points and 8 assists. The Hawks collectively shot 17% from deep and struggled to find the basket, especially in the first half. On Saturday, the C’s made it clear that other players on the Hawks team will have to go off they want a shot. Dejounte Murray was the leading scorer with 24 points. But he’s not a guy who can just take over a game and make winning plays. He’s a bucket getter.
Don’t expect Trae Young to have another night where he scores under 20 points. But if the C’s can make Young only a scoring guard, and not a passer, than their in good shape.
Robert Williams looked fantastic
Time Lord has been in and out of the lineup literally the entire season. It was to the point where he’s not even considered a starter anymore. But that’s fine, because in the 22 minutes he played he dropped 12 points and 8 rebounds. He was running the floor and showed that nonstop motor that made him a useful big man to begin with.
With guys such as Clint Capela and Saddiq Bey, it wasn’t clear what was going to happen in the front court for the C’s defense. But they have been handling it well with Williams coming alive on both sides of the floor.
Wasn’t a team C’s effort, but still a W
Grant Williams didn’t play at all in game 1, instead, Sam Hauser got to get on the floor. Although that may have came as a surprise to me, it’s a good sign that the C’s still pulled off a convincing win. Also, Malcolm Brogdon only dropped 5 points and Al Horford only had 6 points. The guys who typically chip-in more with offense didn’t do much, but they didn’t need to. Which is a good sign.
Jayson Tatum had 25 points and 11 rebounds while Jaylen Brown finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds. They were the two-headed monster for the C’s while other players took the backseat. Derrick White also finished with 24 points. Either way, it’s a good thing that the C’s are so deep that the rest of their key guys don’t need to score that much to win.