The Boston Celtics just finished off a month where they went 9-4 behind strong performances from Marcus Morris, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier III.
After finishing off the month of March with a six-game winning streak, the Celtics now find themselves trailing the Toronto Raptors by only two games in the Eastern Conference with six games left in the regular season.
It wasn’t an easy month for the C’s with games against the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and the Toronto Raptors, among others. But they came out of the month with their best record since November (14-2 @ .875 win percentage).
And they did most it without Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis and their “max” player Kyrie Irving.
Irving appeared in two games early in the month as well, before undergoing a ‘minimally invasive procedure’ on his left knee.
There’s still a chance Irving and Smart could return for the 2018 NBA Playoffs, but nothing has been set in stone as of yet.
With these three out of the lineup, Morris, Tatum, Rozier and Jaylen Brown have really stepped up their game in the final full month of regular season basketball.
In 13 starts, Tatum is leading the way with 16.8 points-per-game, on 49.7 percent shooting from the field and 44.2 percent from three. Through 30.8 minutes-per-game, the ‘Rookie of the Year’ candidate is averaging 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists. And just over a week ago, Tatum made Celtics history by scoring his 1,000th career point.
Morris led the team through March with 18.9 points-per-game, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 11 games. He shot a favorable 48.3 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three. And we can’t forget all the game-changing shots Morris made throughout the month, helping to propel the team to their 9-4 record (.692 winning percentage).
Since taking over the starting guard role, Rozier has provided a huge spark for the Celtics with Irving out. Through 13 games, including nine starts, he averaged 17.2 points, on 41.2 percent shooting from the field and 41.8 percent from three. In addition to 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists through 33.4 minutes-per-game.
Brown missed a handful of games while dealing with a concussion after a scary fall from the rim early in the month. But during the seven games he’s played and started in, he’s averaged 13.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists during 27.2 minutes-per-game. The sophomore forward shot an impressive 48.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from three for the month.
If these four can stay as hot as they’ve been over the course of the last month, the Celtics have a legit chance of taking over the top spot in the top spot in the East in the next two weeks.
The Celtics have now matched their win total (53) from last season, following their, 110-99, win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night, while locking down the No.2 spot in the East in the process. The C’s will now look to make a push up for the top spot over their final six games of the season, which includes three games against playoff contenders.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (53-23) head to the Badger State on Tuesday night to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (41-35) in the first of back-to-back road games. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.