When the Eastern Conference semifinals ended last night, I sat in the small bedroom in our apartment that doubles as an office. I’m not allowed to yell around the dog so I locked myself away to scream in peace. I was sweating a little bit, partially because I’m morbidly unhealthy but also because the Celtics do that to me. It had to be another close one, Marcus Smart had to miss the one he wanted to make and make the one he tried to miss. At the end, the Celtics came out on top 4-1 in the series (4-0 if you don’t count Scott foster games) and they’re going back to the conference finals.
I don’t want to devote the whole blog to Jayson Tatum but it’s going to be hard not to. At this point, if you’re a Celtics fan you need a Hey Arnold like shrine to Tatum somewhere in your house. Mine is in a small crawl space In my apartment no one knows about yet. It’s just big enough for me to light candles and sit full lotus in. I digress. Tatum has balled out this postseason and then some. He outplayed ROY favorite and media darling Ben Simmons and without him, the Celtics aren’t even sniffing the ECF. 8 straight games of 20+ points, he went 25/3/4 last night and averaged over 23 a game through the series. Hes a rookie. He’s 20 years old and playing at an absurdly high level. I don’t wanna hot take myself into a coma but you’re gonna be hard pressed trying to convince me he isn’t the most promising player in the league right now. Not counting Andre Ingram.
We heard about the Sixers as nauseam all year long. Everywhere I turned, people were pumping up the process. At the dentist, at the supermarket, at the dentist again. Bastard knows I can’t respond with a mouth full of cotton. The process ended this season, and it didn’t work out. The Celtics process however, has worked out. In addition to Tatum eviscerating all competition, Jaylen “I’m still younger than Embiid and Simmons” Brown went 10-13 for 24 points last night. Jaylen is already pretty elite on defense but adding the offense he’s added this season is just unfair. That kid was locked in last night AND he’s playing with one hamstring. Please keep praising Philly’s youth while making the Celtics underdogs.
Al Horford played the entire fourth quarter and was as steady as ever. He didn’t explode in the box score but he had his fingerprints all over this win. I get the average al crowd, at times I fall into that -incorrect- line of thinking, too. But last night he was worth every penny, he’s been worth every penny all year. He’s steady, he’s reliable, he’s playoff Al.
I don’t want to focus on the Sixers too much. Embiid is good but dude needs to stop chirping so much. He couldn’t get off the floor fast enough last night and for a dude that talks that much, he whines A LOT. Simmons got outplayed, finished the series with a +/- of -68 in five games. FIVE GAMES. That’s your rookie of the year?! Don’t get me started on Justin Anderson coming in for like 3 minutes and trying to take everyone out like Chong Li from Bloodsport. Good series, Brett Brown, good series.
I’ll have a preview of the Cavs series coming, I just have to mentally prepare for Lebron shooting more free throws a night than the entire Celtics squad.