Boston Celtics basketball is back.
With a 98-97 win against the Orlando Magic, the Celtics got the butterflies out of the way in game one. It was an exciting game for sure, brimful with high energy plays, and late game heroics. Romeo Langford hit the game winning dagger–his second of the meaningless games–to put Boston up with 13 seconds left, and the Magic couldn’t answer.
It was a layered game, giving us our first look at the new pieces that headlined the offseason. We saw first appearances from Dennis Schroder, Juan Hernangomez, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford and Enes Kanter (if they count).
Plenty of things can be taken-away from the first game of this revamped roster, however there were three that really stood out to me.
Boston Celtics takeaway #1: Jaylen Brown doesn’t miss a beat
Jaylen Brown’s season for the Boston Celtics was tragically cut short last year with a torn wrist ligament, eradicating Boston’s chances of a playoff run. It was a tumultuous season for the Celtics, riddled with injury, health and safety protocols, a complete lack of chemistry, and it was all tied together with the grim bow of a Jaylen Brown injury.
The injury was originally projected to sideline him until November, however he is very far ahead of schedule, and led the team in minutes played in game one.
He came out firing, and had 16 points on 6-9 from the field in the first quarter alone. Any and all worries about his wrist were thrown out the window within just minutes. I mean take this quote from Jaylen himself:
“…My body got a chance to heal, my mind got a chance to be refreshed, and right now I feel great. I feel lighter than ever, faster than ever, stronger than ever.”
He looked quick, the handle looked tight, and he stuffed the stat-sheet. He finished the game with 24 points, four rebounds, three assists, on 50% from the field. He looked like he was poised for another All-Star season, and he looks better in most aspects than he did before.
Brown accredited his involuntary absence on the court to his newfound understanding of the game. The now sixth-year pro states he wants to become a better playmaker, wants to create for others.
“For me, breaking film down, details, looking at guys that do things well and breaking them down and how they do them well and emulating them to your game…There’s a few guys, especially in the playmaking department that I watched, so I’m looking forward to going out and showing all the things that I watched.”
It was an amazing first showing of the year, and lets hope he can build on it.