It was a “notably quiet night” for Boston Celtics franchise cornerstones Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown against the Philadelphia 76ers in a 106-103 loss — one that did see the Cs make a spirited fourth-quarter comeback that’d fall short — according to CelticsBlog’s Daniel Poarch.
“It was a notably quiet night for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown,” Poarch prefaced before saying, “Both seemed passive and indecisive offensively, combining to score just 27 points, and Brown was a particularly brutal 4-of-13 from the field.”
It wasn’t all for naught, though, as Poarch would profess. Boston got a boost from Derrick White’s return from injury and Kristaps Porzingis’s steady streak of solid performances against the Sixers; performances that resulted in averages of 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 11 games prior to the November 8 Celtics defeat.
“Kristaps Porzingis picked up some of the slack, making up for an off night against Minnesota on Monday with a game-high 29 points, and the team was happy to have the services of Derrick White, who returned after two games off to score 19,” Poarch wrote.
Boston Celtics disappoint in early season prove-it game
Undoubtedly, the Celtics squandered an early-season opportunity to assert themselves as the top dog in the Eastern Conference by failing to win the battle of 5-1 teams in Philadelphia.
And you know what? It matters none.
Boston has peaked at the wrong time in the past under Joe Mazzulla; of course, referring to the C’s 2022-23 midseason malaise that seemingly never wore off and ultimately led to an early postseason elimination against a far less talented Miami Heat team.
If the 2023-24 Celtics take a few early-season lickings only to fix their problems by the trade deadline, it’ll all be worth it. Better than a team that looked unstoppable in November only to fall before the start of June in the Eastern Conference Finals.