The Boston Celtics were unstoppable Friday night as they dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-86. The Celtics improve to 7-11 on the season, and the win thrusts them into the playoff picture. The result of the game may have been due to the lack of engagement that the Cavaliers have displayed this season. Cleveland can’t seem to find a consistency despite the young talent on their roster. However, the Cavaliers’ lack of cohesive basketball does not diminish the credit due to the Celtics for the win. Boston shot 50 percent from the field and had tremendous performances from key players.
Jeff Green put together a dominant performance for a second-consecutive game. He shot 10 of 19 from the field to score 31 points and added five rebounds. He was aggressive and completely obliterated the Cleveland defense. Green was able to score at will and made it look extremely easy. This is one of those games, in which, Celtics fans scratch their heads and yell at their TV’s, “Why can’t you do this every game!?” I don’t blame them either. It’s a fair question to ask considering the talent he has. Nonetheless, it’s an encouraging sign whenever Green scores over 25 points in two games in a row. Hopefully he is beginning to be more consistent and belligerent.
Avery Bradley had another impressive night both offensively and defensively. He looked for his shot consistently and shot 9-for-11 from the field, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to finish with 21 points. His defense seemed to have jump-started his offense. Guarding explosive point guards like Kyrie Irving is what Bradley does best. He was able to keep Irving out of the point and hold him to just 7-of-16 from the field and 17 points. We all know how aggressive Bradley is on defense, but if he can shoot like he did tonight on a consistent basis, he is going to earn a nice paycheck for the next few years.
Jordan Crawford, yet again, proves his importance to this team. This time, he completely out-did himself by recording a triple-double. Despite a bad shooting night, Crawford scored 11 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 10 assists. This guy does not even need to score a point to be a vital contributor on this Celtics’ team. The way he runs the offense is a treasured commodity in itself. The irony is that the Celtics traded for him because of his shoot-first mentality. Instead, it looks like he’s always dreamed of being a point guard. Continuing this type of play will be very beneficial for this team.
The Celtics have a game in Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Saturday night. At least they can enjoy this victory for a few more hours. The Bucks have struggled mightily, so Celtics have a great chance of improving to 8-11. I know I’ll be watching to see if Jeff Green can continue his tremendous play for the third-consecutive night. If he can, that’ll be a huge step.