The Boston Celtics are using a page off of the playbooks of the Toronto Raptors with the depth of its roster as the key to a balanced and strong attack.
The first game in the NBA semifinals is in the books. The defending champions are up against a raging Boston Celtics. With what was shown during Game 1. This series looks to be a battle on and off the court.
On the court, because both teams have strong pieces for a championship run. Off the court, because the coaches will have to be nimble with their rotations and plays.
The Boston Celtics don’t miss Gordon Hayward
The Cs have a deep and dependable team. They have had this roster for the past three years, and they have stayed true to their signature style. In essence, they play a five-out system with superior perimeter players with Walker, Smart, Hayward, Tatum, and Brown.
On paper, this is an extremely undersized team. However, they make the most out of it with a potent offense. As such, they don’t have problems keeping up with big opponents. Unfortunately, they lost Hayward to an ankle injury early in the Playoffs. He is also expected to step out of the bubble in anticipation of the birth of his child.
The Celtics are fortunate enough that they have enough pieces to cover the big hole left by Hayward. He averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. While the team acknowledges that they need Hayward, the bench players of the Celtics have stepped up.
Marcus Smart’s defense is top notch
Outside of the star players of the Celtics, Marcus Smart is the next man up. He doesn’t attract much attention on the offensive side because he’s known for his defense. However, what other teams don’t realize is that Smart has developed his shooting. When the focus is on Tatum, Walker, or Brown, Smart is almost always ready to shoot the ball from the corner.
On the other side of the floor, Smart is the Celtics’ glue guy. He is always given the coverage for the opponent’s best scorer. Despite his size, he holds his ground well. He intercepts passing lanes and keeps his foot against strong post-up offenses. Without him, the Celtics’ defense is porous.
However, with him, their defense starts early even before reaching the half-court line. He proved this when he contained Pascal Siakam of Toronto. He will also most likely cover him the entire series.
The Celtics will look to go up 2-0 against the defending Champs on Wednesday.
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