The Boston Celtics have been one of if not the best teams in the league after the new year began. The Celtics have cruised to the 5 seed after being at the bottom of the Eastern Conference when the season began. A lot of credit goes to Ime Udoka who has established a culture of toughness and accountability. He has also gotten players to play great defence, something the Celtics were not doing under Brad Stevens.
The Celtics blew the Warriors out by 22 points and won 110-88. The Warriors lost Steph Curry during the game due to a foot injury. The injury was accidentally caused by Marcus Smart of the Celtics who was diving for a loose ball and ended up landing on Steph’s leg. With Steph out the Warriors began spiralling. Even though Jordan Poole had a great game and brought some life to the team in the 3rd quarter, it was not enough to get the Warriors the win.
The Celtics were led By Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who both had 26 points. Tatum had 12 rebounds while Brown had 7 rebounds. Marcus Smart was huge as well having 20 points in the game. Payton Prichard was the only other Celtic in double digits with 10 points. Robert Williams was amazing for the Celtics defensively and had 4 blocks in the game. The Warriors only had Poole (29 points) and Klay Thompson (18 points) in double digits.
With the win the Celtics inch closer to taking the 4 seed from the Chicago Bulls and are just half a game behind them. They are also only 4.5 games behind the 1 seed Miami Heat. While it will be difficult to get the 1 seed there is a good chance that the Celtics move up the standings the way they are playing right now.
The loss to the Celtics along with Steph’s injury hurts the Warriors especially if Steph cannot get back to the court by the time the postseason begins. Currently, they have to hold their spot as the 3 seed because the Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz are closing in on them. If they lose the 3 seed and end up 5th, the Warriors will lose home-court advantage in the Playoffs.