Clippers vs. Celtics: Notes, quotes, and reactions (Feb. 5)

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Justin Quinn
·6 min read
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If the Boston Celtics had lost their road contest with the Los Angeles Clippers down two of their most important players in veterans Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, no one would have held it against the team, particularly after adding a third player to the unavailable list with injured or aching lower extremities at the game’s halfway point.

Center Daniel Theis left the tilt with knee soreness at the break, yet riding outstanding play by guards Kemba Walker (24 points), Carsen Edwards (16 points) and especially forward Jayson Tatum (34 points, 7 rebounds), the Celtics managed to come away with a signature win instead.

Notes

  • It seems like the hectic pace of the condensed season may be taking a toll on Boston's players. Expect liberal rest for high-minutes players when the schedule gets lighter after Boston returns to the east coast.

  • The defense, while far from perfect is looking better as the season progresses, and clutch free throws combined with engaged defense late in the game showed impressive growth and poise from the team.

  • While Payton Pritchard didn't have a monster game in his return, his quiet efficiency (8 points on 3-of-4 shooting, including 2-of-3 from deep) suggests the rookie floor general is feeling more or less himself at a point where his team will need to lean on his play.

  • Kemba Walker easily had his best game of the season to date, and Tristan Thompson had another solid outing as well. Jeff Teague continues to be the veteran having the most difficulty finding a consistent role with the team.

https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1358109046033768448?s=20

Quotes

Coach Brad Stevens: "[Semi] doesn't get a lot of attention for what he does, but it's not the easiest role in the world to be subbed in with 32 seconds left and guard Kawhi Leonard one-on-one. And, in a week's time he's on LeBron at the end of the game and Kawhi at the end of the game. That's how teams work, right? That's why we don't need everybody to put on a cape, we just need everybody to do their job well; both those guys did." Carsen Edwards: "It feels good. I feel like ... for any player regardless if you play a lot or you don't play much, or if you're consistent guy like it's seeing that first shot going in is always a good feeling. And I feel like I'm trying to learn to be able to get in a rhythm through other ways, to get stops trying to get a rebound or something like that, but do you see the shot go in, and it helps a lot." Jayson Tatum "I think this is a good win ... coming off of a loss, down a few guys. I think in my time being here, regardless of what we have planned, we always feel like we always give ourselves a chance to win. There's always the 'next man up' mentality. There's a lot of talented guys on this team. They work extremely hard, and I know it has to be tough when they're uncertain about when they're going to play." Kemba Walker: "Carsen [Edwards] was amazing. He's got his back into the game. Payton [Pritchard] in his first game back, he had some big shots. Rob [Williams III] was great off the bench, and everybody ... where the energy was just great all around. It was a great, great team win." https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1358098868513177601?s=20

Reactions:

Some jokes were had about how Boston might adapt to being down so many players: https://twitter.com/dangercart/status/1356993627189366784 That didn't turn out to be jokes: https://twitter.com/ByJayKing/status/1357880930388631554 And it worked as well early as you might have guessed: https://twitter.com/Murf56/status/1357892335716204544?s=20 Which really drew some peculiarities into stark contrast: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357893235696369664?s=20

The first quarter: 33 - 21 Clippers

Things got off to a rough start: https://twitter.com/Murf56/status/1357891322141622278?s=20 But the chaos didn't last too long. https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357894057746440200?s=20 The return of FastPP was clearly the missing piece. We kid. Mostly. https://twitter.com/Murf56/status/1357893973126377474?s=20 Then Edwards started to heat up: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1357894733318660097?s=20 But the Clippers tried to flex against Boston's deep rotation: https://twitter.com/dangercart/status/1357896705774129152?s=20 It looked like it might become a blowout quickly: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1357896267490201602?s=20

The second quarter: 62 - 51 Clippers

And Teague continued to struggle early: https://twitter.com/dangercart/status/1357898442970923009?s=20 Hopefully he can find a role given his recent play. https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357898555160223744?s=20 Edwards stayed hot: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1357898491096272897?s=20 Sizzling hot -- maybe even too hot? https://twitter.com/GinoTimePod/status/1357898941724057602?s=20 He's never going to live this down: https://twitter.com/ChrisForsberg_/status/1357899366925819906?s=20 And Boston's defence had yet to find its footing: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1357901641727373312?s=20 Which required the TOTALLY expected for the Celtics to stay in the game: https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1357905446460395522?s=20 Things got a little funky in terms of officiating: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1357901398474510336?s=20 But there was a silver lining nonetheless. https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357903260187832320?s=20

The third quarter: 89 - 82 Celtics

And he kept his foot on the gas through the break: https://twitter.com/ByJayKing/status/1357909312576839680?s=20 Boston put the clamps on: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357909991471124482?s=20 Walker caught fire as well: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1357910169062019072?s=20 And so did Grant Williams: https://twitter.com/RedsArmy_John/status/1357911727019597825?s=20 Which paid off in the box score: https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1357912835980951552?s=20 Then Taco Jay began to cook too: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1357914590353514497?s=20 And some sauce from Payton Pritchard gave Boston a cushion: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357915131733286919?s=20 Before we got some bad news about where Theis went: https://twitter.com/ChrisForsberg_/status/1357915313921265664?s=20 Though momentum appeared to be changing in favor of Boston: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1357916001996791810?s=20

The fourth quarter and game: 119 - 115 Celtics

And Tatum stayed hot going into the final frame: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357917061876432898?s=20 Finding synergy with FastPP: https://twitter.com/designer_smarf/status/1357915719078395906?s=20 Until it was clear the Missouri native was out of gas: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1357917520947261440?s=20 Semi accidentally poked Kawhi Leonard in the eye: https://twitter.com/celticsblog/status/1357920350621732865?s=20 And Walker started to percolate late: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1357920553068281858?s=20 The game stayed close: https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1357924257632817154?s=20 But Boston held on to win: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1357925609645735937?s=20 [jwplayer OsWpTntP-z6KDnl0B] [lawrence-related id=46348,46323,46316,46303] [listicle id=46319]