Bad shooting night ends in defeat: 10 takeaways from Boston Celtics / Phoenix Suns

1. The first of our three questions for this question was about the three-point shooting match. The Celtics definitely won it when they went 17-of-44 from downtown to the Suns 8-for-29. The Celtics started early with this lovely skip pass from Jayson Tatum to Grant Williams:

Overall, it was a great night of three for Boston. What didn’t keep up was the two-point shooting. The Celtics hit only 16 out of 49 from the arch. That was the difference in a close loss.

2. Phoenix won the pace race. The suns want to play slowly and consume a lot of time with every possession. Especially in the second half, Phoenix ran out almost all the way. By shortening the games, Chris Paul can achieve excellent defense. And because Paul and Devin Booker can achieve great looks on the offensive, the suns seldom bothers to play late into the night.

3. The third question was split in two: how would the Celtics score and how would they defend Devin Booker? The answer to both: not great! Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker shot 12 of 42 off the ground together. The Celtics won’t win games if their two main characters can’t fire a shot.

As for Booker’s defense, Boston only held him for 16 field attempts, many of which had controversial looks. Part of that came from great efforts by undersized players like Carsen Edwards here:

First, Edwards Booker pushes the hook almost to the bow. Then he forces Booker to go where he knew he had help from the greats.

Unfortunately, those efforts weren’t enough to keep Booker from taking control of the game. Because Boston had chased him away from a few shots, Booker was content to be a playmaker. He amassed 11 assists when the Suns RPG defeated the Celtics.

4. Since getting a DNP a few games ago, Grant Williams has come back with a much better game. He is engaged defensively and plays offensively. Most of his hits were scored from three-point shooting, but Williams can work in the post too. Check out this quick spin for the bucket here:

This is a long backdoor pass for Jeff Teague (who actually played well!). The big part of it is that Williams sees the pass before it’s actually open:

5. Brad Stevens said after the game that he feels that Payton Pritchard is often tentative on both ends when he first enters a game. This is a good example of a preliminary defense as Pritchard is late getting near Mikal Bridges, opening up an easy lane:

Stevens just shouted it out to stay. He wants Pritchard to be aggressive from the moment he hits the floor. And that’s a great point because Pritchard is so beneficial when he’s aggressive. His defense and shooting were a big part of the Celtics who stayed in the game until the late stages.

6. Despite the poor shooting night, Boston was able to collect 19 assists on 33 baskets. Here’s a good ball move that ends with a three from Daniel Theis:

Theis is now up to 41.9% behind the arch. Within the arc, Theis leads the NBA with 68.8% shooting. Theis is not part of any of the Celtics issues.

7. If you actually dig into the numbers, Boston isn’t as bad in the third quarter as it seems. This is probably one of us media people who overdo it when it’s bad and completely ignore it when it isn’t.

That was a bad third quarter, however. The Suns only won the quarter by five points, but that was more the fact that Phoenix is ​​not picking up the pace and is building many possessions. The Celtics couldn’t hit anything after the break. They were a total of 7 out of 22 and 2 out of 11 from the deep in the third period.

8. Phoenix was aggressive when it came to doubling up Jayson Tatum and making sure he couldn’t get good shots. Tatum did a good job accepting this coverage and making plays as passer-by. In this piece the suns make sure that Tatum doesn’t hit them and go to Daniel Theis in the alley:

9. Kemba … oh Kemba. For Kemba Walker this was a difficult question. He only shot 4 out of 20 and couldn’t get it going. He 9-0 on two pointers, including all six of his shots in suit.

Walker looks good physically, with the only exception when he’s driving. Little guards need to be quick and be able to explode when they’re driving, otherwise they won’t be able to finish. Right now, that blast doesn’t seem to be there for Walker. He gets past the players and comes to the edge. He just can’t finish. Hopefully that will come back or it will be difficult for Walker to be the goalscorer he was before he injured his knee.

The jumper seems to be switched off due to a lack of rhythm. As many have noticed, Tristan Thompson looked terrible for much of his first month as he got going. Let’s hope it is the same for Walker as he is a very important part of the Celtics blanket as a team.

10. Boston needs a Utah win to come home on a successful road trip. That’s a big question. Jazz is playing great right now and it’s always tough at home. 2-3 isn’t a bad result, especially when playing two of the games without Jaylen Brown and the entire trip without Marcus Smart. But 3-2 would just feel a lot better.

The good news is that the schedule brightens up significantly after the trip. The next five games are at home for the Celtics. No fans, but it’s still better to be in your own environment than not. And many of the games were supposed to win Boston. This is a chance to take some wins and step into the All-Star hiatus and the end of the first half of the season.

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