By Tom Westerholm | firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted November 19, 2018 at 09:29 PM | Updated November 19, 2018 at 09:32 PM
Chuck Burton/AP Photo
The Boston Celtics blew a double-digit fourth-quarter lead to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday in a 117-112 loss, as Kemba Walker eviscerated them for 43 points.
Here are 10 things we learned.
1. What does the new starting lineup mean?
The Celtics started Aron Baynes in place of Gordon Hayward, which didn’t seem to affect the starters much — they still went down early, even though the fit seemed better on the offensive end.
The bench, however, seemed more cohesive, and several players who had previously been struggling appeared to find their groove (more on them shortly). Hayward, meanwhile, was a natural fit with his versatile skill set alongside the second unit. Whether the Celtics will keep going with this lineup is unclear, but there were merits to it.
(A sidenote: Were Brad Stevens’ comments about how unimportant the starting lineup is an attempt to downplay Hayward coming off the bench?)
2. Terry Rozier put together his best stretch of basketball in a while.
It was only a matter of time before Terry Rozier broke out (he’s too talented to continue struggling), and sure enough, he put together one of his best stretches of the season on Monday in the second quarter.
Rozier started with a pair of triples, threw down a big one-handed dunk in transition and dished out a couple of assists before the end of the half. He continued to run the show at a high level in the second, playing off Kyrie Irving well as the Celtics star boosted Boston’s lead early in the fourth.
Rozier raises Boston’s ceiling significantly when he’s playing well.