Boston Celtics: Player grades for C’s game-two victory over Philadelphia

Boston Celtics (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics looked both aggressive and efficient in their deceive Game two victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Despite missing Gordon Hayward due to an ankle sprain sustained in game-one, the Boston Celtics played one of their best and most efficient games of the year. The team got off to a slow start, at one point trailing by as many as 14 points during the first quarter, but this Celtics team bounced back early in the second quarter and never took their foot off the gas.

While Jayson Tatum led the way, Boston got production from many different sources. Brad Stevens and co. went to the bench unit early as they played five rotation guys in non-garbage time minutes.

Joel Embiid had himself a very efficient game, but the rest of the 76ers struggled to find a secondary scoring source. The Cs held the 76ers to only five three-point makes on the night, one short of their season-low.

Boston turned the ball over only six times, and they shot an impressive 44 percent from beyond the arc. They played fantastic on-ball defense as they secured their second “home” win of the series.

In short, the entire team played quite well.

As for some of their individual performances… well, we’ve got some player grades for you:

Jayson Tatum: A

On Monday, Jayson Tatum set his career playoff-high in scoring with 32 points. He re-upped on the matter and reset his playoff career-high with 33 points on even more efficient shooting.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last Boston Celtics player to convert on eight three-pointers in a playoff game was Ray Allen back in 2011.

The 76ers switched things with their starting lineup by putting Matisse Thybulle on Tatum. It wasn’t as if Thybulle played weak defense, but Tatum was doing Tatum-like things, as he hit a series of tough contested stepbacks.

On the night, the All-Star finished with five assists, even tying his playoff high as he was a team-best +29 on the night.

Jaylen Brown: A-

With 20 points on the night, Brown looked equally aggressive, especially with his drives to the basket. The wing had a very analytically efficient game as he converted on two threes with the rest of his points coming at the basket.

While Brown only shot 2-7 from beyond the arc, he got to the line six times and converted on all attempts. When the Boston Celtics were struggling in the first quarter Brown dropped seven straight points to close the scoring gap.

The Tatum-Brown, one-two scoring punch was back at it again.

Kemba Walker: A-

Despite a red hot 15-point second quarter, Kemba Walker got off to a slow start, as he only converted one of his six three-pointers. Walker was in full attack mode as he finished 4-5 from midrange and 5-5 from the free-throw line. The three-headed scoring punch of Walker, Brown, and Tatum combined for an impressive 75 points.

Marcus Smart: B

If we simply just looked at the box score and decided off these numbers, Smart would probably be more in the C/C- range given his offensive struggles. That’s because traditional box score numbers are offensively skewed, and Marcus Smart doesn’t need a boxscore to tell you he is good.

The Swiss Army man, per usual, was diving on the floor and played fantastic help defense on Joel Embiid. In the absence of Gordon Hayward, Smart will need to improve his shooting efficiency and give the Cs a fourth scoring punch. Smart only converted on one of his seven attempts from beyond the arc.

Daniel Theis: C

After playing 25 minutes during game-one, Theis only saw a puzzling 12 minutes of action in game-two.

He seemed initially hesitant to shoot the longball, and perhaps this hesitancy prompted Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics coaching staff to seek out more scoring in the form of Enes Kanter and Brad Wanamaker. If Embiid is constantly dropping back into the paint, Theis, offensively, could be more neutralized during this series, given his elite ability to seal off the help defender.

Defensively, Theis was overmatched by Embiid’s physicality and struggled on the night with limited playing time.

Enes Kanter: B

Enes Kanter hit a three!

Granted, this attempt was at the end of the shot clock and wide open, but still, let’s give the big man some credit, as this was his second three-point conversion. Outside of this shot, Kanter was engaged defensively.

While he was a target in the pick and roll, Kanter played solid defense on Embiid despite picking up three fouls in 21 minutes. Kanter did a great job getting to the free-throw line but struggled to convert, going 1-5.

Kanter finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, and was a +24 on the night.

Brad Wanamaker: B+

It was a night of threes for Brad Wanamaker.

Despite having three turnovers and picking up three fouls, Wanamaker had a career-high three blocks on the night.

Yes, Brad Wanamaker… three blocks!

Do you want even more threes? Wanamaker went 3-3 from the field, converting on a single three-pointer from above on the break. Wanamaker, in typical fashion, made the straightforward play, finishing the game with four assists and a second-best +28 on the night.

Grant Williams: B+

Grant Willaims only saw two minutes during his first playoff game and seemed to be out of the Boston Celtics’ rotation. Given the Hayward injury, however, he will likely see more minutes as the Celtics attempt to fill this minute void.

Williams went 2-2 from downtown and snatched six defensive rebounds as he gave the team a needed boost off the bench, despite picking up four fouls on the night. Williams has earned some of the Celtics coaching staff’s trust as he still doesn’t project the typical rookie vibe.

Romeo Langford: B

Romeo Langford saw actual, non-garbage time minutes as he looked to guarding the taller Tobias Harris in the post.

After seeing only 10 seconds of action in game-one, Langford was a +26 on the night and did an excellent job of not fouling when targeted in the post. Langford collected a steal and converted on one of his two three-point attempts.

He continues to impress on the defensive side of the floor, as it will be an interesting case study to monitor Langford’s minutes as the Celtics continue on in the playoffs.

Next. B/R says interior presence is C's biggest concern. dark