The Boston Celtics did not start the front end of a back-to-back the way they wanted to. On Monday night, the Celtics got outplayed and outhustled in a 113-98 loss against the Orlando Magic.
The loss snaps a nine-game win streak, and it starts a big week off on the wrong note. The Cs now drop to 35-13 on the season, but they remain in the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.
Boston started the game poorly but they were led by Jaylen Brown. Brown started the game shooting well from the 3-point line, and he finished the game with 26 points. The Celtics struggled against the big lineups that the Magic utilized. Al Horford and Blake Griffin had a tough time guarding Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr. in the first half.
The Magic played with confidence, and they looked like the team that beat the Celtics twice back in December. Boston trailed by as many as 15, and they were unable to get control of the game in the second half. Banchero continued his strong performance as he finished with 23 points. The 23-point performance was Banchero’s first 20-point game since January 7.
The loss is both concerning and understandable for the Celtics as they missed Marcus Smart and Robert Williams Ⅲ. However, the lack of balanced scoring and loss to the Magic in three out of four matchups this season is concerning. With a big week ahead against the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers, the Cs will need to get their act together. The Celtics will need to turn the page quickly as they travel to take on Miami tomorrow night.
Here is one stud and one dud from the loss.
Boston Celtics Stud: Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown is the stud of the night for the Cs, as he was their most consistent player. Brown was the most locked-in throughout the game, and he kept the Celtics in the game with his shooting. He finished with 26 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Brown also shot 5/11 from three.
Although five turnovers are not what you want to see from one of your star players, Brown still did enough to be tonight’s stud. Brown continues to fly under the radar with strong performances, and not only should he be a lock for the All-Star team, but he should also be a lock for a spot on one of the All-NBA teams.
Brown will look to continue his strong play when the Celtics travel to play the Heat.
Boston Celtics Dud: Grant Williams
Grant Williams is the dud for the Celtics because he was the worst version of himself. Williams finished with four points, four rebounds, two assists, and a block. He also finished with three turnovers and five personal fouls. This is the version of Williams that you don’t like to see because he has zero impact on the game, and he has more complaints than he does positive plays.
The complaining has become a problem for Williams, and it’s starting to upset Cs fans. If you are not going to make a positive impact on the game, don’t also complain. Williams needs to get himself under control in these games.
Williams will look for a bounce-back game tonight against the Miami Heat.