Celtics vs. Nuggets Overreactions: Aaron Nesmith showing flashes of potential

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Justin Leger
·3 min read
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C's-Nuggets Overreactions: Nesmith showing flashes of potential originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Tuesday night marked a much-needed win for the Boston Celtics.

After back-to-back losses to the lowly Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards, the C's bounced back to beat the Denver Nuggets, 112-99. Jaylen Brown led the way with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting, but the second unit was the key in the victory.

Highlights: C's bounce back with 112-99 win over Nuggets

Robert Williams had eight points, eight rebounds, and five steals in 20 minutes with Daniel Theis sidelined. Rookies Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard contributed nine and eight points respectively with the latter also notching seven assists.

Here's what we're overreacting to after Boston's win, which brings its record to 14-13:

1. Ball movement is the difference-maker for Boston.

"No comment."

That was Jaylen Brown's response after Sunday night's loss to the Wizards when asked about the Celtics' lack of ball movement. The C's had only 14 assists with Brown posting a goose egg in that column of the box score.

Clearly, ball movement was a priority heading into Tuesday night's matchup. The Celtics looked like a completely different team moving the ball in the victory and nearly doubled Sunday's total with 26 assists. Tatum (eight), Pritchard (seven) and Brown (five) were the leaders in that category.

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That better ball movement needs to continue if the Celtics are to turn things around and surge back to the top of the Eastern Conference.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

2. Aaron Nesmith is showing his potential.

Is the rookie starting to find his groove? Nesmith, the Celtics' 14th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has looked promising over the last two games.

After being one of the only bright spots in Sunday's loss to Washington, Nesmith contributed nine points (2-for-4 from 3-point range) to go with four rebounds an impressive block vs. Denver. He also was a team-best +20 on the night.

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Is it time to get aboard the Nesmith hype train? Probably not. But it's worth monitoring the Vanderbilt product as he continues to show why Danny Ainge was eager to draft him.

Verdict: Overreaction

3. The Nikola Jokic MVP hype is real.

Jokic currently is listed at +500 odds to win this year's NBA MVP award. The 25-year-old showed why with a dazzling performance at TD Garden.

Jokic hardly broke a sweat while putting up 43 points (16-for-23), six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. While it didn't result in a victory, he continued to prove he belongs in the conversation as one of the game's top players. Brad Stevens even admitted after the game he was afraid to double Jokic in fear of his playmaking ability. The Serbian big man truly is a special talent, and the MVP talk is warranted.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Next up for the C's is a meeting with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.