Halfway through the season, Boston’s record is the NBA’s best. But how much does it really mean?
Comfort is something that many individuals strive for. It’s a freeing feeling that makes pain and struggle appear to melt away.
But, this yr’s Celtics team isn’t like most. They’re unusual, within the sense that they’re considered one of the few teams that has a legitimate shot at winning the NBA Finals.
Just past the halfway point of the season, at 30-12, Boston’s record is the NBA’s best.
They’re the primary team to achieve 30 wins. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum became the primary Celtics teammates since Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker in 2001 to have at the least 30 points and 10 rebounds each in a single game.
There’s loads of reasons for the Celtics to be comfortable of their perch atop the league. But this team, which knows the sting of letting last yr’s Finals slip away, is removed from satisfied.
“As we progress, I believe the message is that comfort will kill you,” Brown said after scoring a team-high 41 points. “These other teams should not waiting around for us to allow us to win the sport. You’ve got to exit and prove it each night. Success is earned each night. You’ve got to point out up, play basketball, give your maximum effort and get out of the mindset of being comfortable.”
Opposing teams have taken notice of that mindset, which was on display throughout the Celtics’ 125-114 win over the Pelicans on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Due to three consecutive made 3-pointers from Al Horford, the Celtics jumped out to a primary quarter lead and held it for a lot of the game.
“[Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla] has done an exceptional job,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said pregame, as transcribed by NESN. “You take a look at their team and you possibly can tell they’re fighting for something big. They exit every game and so they play hard, and so they compete. It’s not rather a lot that they don’t do well.”
Pelicans guard CJ McCollum had a excellent showing Wednesday night, with 38 points on 15-of-24 shooting and making six of his 12 three-point attempts.
The difficulty for Latest Orleans was that Brown and Tatum were on one other level. They combined for 72 points. Brown had a double-double by halftime. Tatum drew MVP chants within the fourth quarter.
Things just feel different this yr between Tatum and Brown because the Celtics stars proceed to construct their chemistry, Brown said.
“I don’t think that is the most effective you will note,” Brown said. “But to date I believe that is the most effective when it comes to individually that now we have come out and played and led our team this season. But, I definitely think we’ve got other limits to achieve in the longer term and in our profession. That is just a part of the method, attempting to still learn and figure things out.
“I’m interested to see how he continues to grow, how I proceed to grow through the years and things like that, but straight away we’ve got to deal with things in front of us, and that’s taking good care of business and the things in front of us and that’s attempting to get back to the Finals.”
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