The Boston Celtics are one of the ‘under-the-radar’ teams poised to make a deep run in the playoffs once the NBA restart tips off in Orlando. Trailing the Toronto Raptors by three games, and up two-and-a-half games on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Standings, the Celtics’ path to the NBA Finals is still unknown.
- Friday, July 31: Milwaukee, 6:30 p.m
- Sunday, August 2: Portland, 3:30 p.m
- Tuesday, August 4: Miami, 6:30 p.m
- Wednesday, August 5: Brooklyn, 9 p.m
- Friday, August 7: Toronto, 9 p.m
- Sunday, August 9: Orlando 5 p.m
- Tuesday, August 11: Memphis, 6:30 p.m
- Thursday, August 13: Washington, TBD
After four long months without NBA Basketball, how will the Celtics’ best players perform in the bubble down in Orlando? Boston has experimented with different lineups throughout the season due to numerous injuries, but now we’ll finally get to see the roster at full-strength.
Let’s take a look at how they played against each of the teams on their Disney schedule before the season was suspended.
13 Games (35 min/game):
21.8 PPG, 6 RPG, 3.3 APG, .9 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 2.6 TO (42.7% FG, 39.1% 3PT, 84.1% FT)
One of the league’s most exciting and talented young stars entered the hiatus as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February. Tatum averaged 30/8/3 during the stretch, winning nine of 12 games and shot 48% from three.
Fans were skeptical about Tatum’s dedication to staying ready as it took over a month for him to install a basket at his home, along with his newfound love for the game of golf, but after seeing him put up shots for the first time in months, it’s clear Tatum is in another tier when we’re talking about the Celtics’ best players.
13 Games (33.5 min/game):
25.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.6 APG, .7 BPG, 1.2 SPG, 1.8 TO (50.2% FG, 38.8% 3PT, 89.3% FT)
Walker is one of the few players who actually benefitted from the NBA’s pause, as it gave the four-time All-Star some much-needed rest to recover from a nagging knee injury that has limited his effectiveness all year. Walker seems to pay no mind of the NBA’s bubble restrictions as he said this about player’s staying in their rooms:
All I do is stay in the house anyways, so there’s nothing wrong with me staying in the room. I’m actually looking forward to it cause I’m ready to play basketball.
12 Games (35.6 min/game):
22.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, .3 BPG, .5 SPG, 2.3 TO (49.5% FG, 38% 3PT, 78.6% FT)
Brown is another player who benefitted from the NBA’s pause after missing the last four games of the regular season due to a hamstring injury. During the break, Brown led a wave of NBA player involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement in the protests against police brutality. Months later, Brown is ready to go and prove that he’s worth that four-year/$115 million contract extension.
12 Games (32.8 min/game):
15.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 3.8 APG, .5 BPG, .7 SPG, 2.1 TO (45.6% FG, 38.2% 3PT, 87.5% FT)
If the Celtics make a deep playoff run they may be without Gordon Hayward, at least for a few days, to be with his wife for the birth of his fourth child, and first son. No one, including Felger and Mazz, should be criticizing Hayward for making an easy decision. Unfortunately, Robyn Hayward’s due date is in September, when the Celtics would be playing in the Eastern Conference Finals.
13 Games (33 min/game):
13.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1 BPG, 1.4 SPG, 1.1 TO (30.9% FG, 35.9% 3PT, 83.9% FT)
Don’t let these shooting percentages fool you. Smart now holds the franchise record for most three-pointers made in a single game (11) and has been improving his 3PT% each year since entering the league. We all know what Smart brings on the defensive side of the ball, but we would love to see more offensive consistency going into the bubble.