7 takeaways as Jayson Tatum and Celtics set franchise record in win over Knicks


Each player made a 3 point. The three biggest contributors? Jayson Tatum (6 for 13), Jaylen Brown (6 for 11) and Sam Hauser (5 for 8).

Jessie Alcheh

Jaylen Brown and the Celtics started the game throwing 3-pointers on nine of their first 10 shots.

On the second night in a row, the Celtics fell in love with the 3-pointer … and won by double digits with a 133-118 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Here are the takeaways.

1. The Celtics set a franchise record for 3-pointers made, shooting an otherworldly 27 of 51 (52.9%) from the floor. Every player who played scored 3 points, even Blake Griffin (1 for 2) and Noah Vonleh (1 for 1) who got extended minutes with Luke Kornet away from the team. The three biggest contributors? Jayson Tatum (6 for 13), Jaylen Brown (6 for 11) and Sam Hauser (5 for 8), who combined for 17 of 27.

Tatum recorded the record 26th hat-trick, while Grant Williams added the No. 27 in the closing minutes for good measure.

2. On a night when the whole offense was excellent, perhaps the most impressive individual performance belonged to Marcus Smart. Smart threw three triples himself, but he also dished out 11 assists and recorded just one turnover.

3. The Celtics’ bench unit continued to excel – Noah Vonleh (+20), Malcolm Brogdon (+20) and Sam Hauser (+14) led the team in plus/minus, while Grant Williams was +10. Once again, Brogdon was excellent as the driving force behind the group, while Williams and Hauser provided ground spacing around him.

The Celtics also experimented with a few other looks, including Brown instead of Tatum as part of the unit. Tinkering with the Bench Death Lineup could be an interesting way to squeeze a little more offense out of it.

4. Hauser scored a career-high 17 points. When he goes for a short period, his shot seems demoralizing for an opponent – ​​countering a sudden 6 or 9 point swing is not easy. If the Celtics’ bench continues to excel, it’s probably worth wondering how the Celtics can keep players like Hauser on the court a little longer.

“I can play a lot of minutes like I did tonight, I can play not as many minutes like I did a few nights ago,” Hauser told reporters. “I just have to be ready for whatever I’m asked to do, and I’ll be ready when my number is called.”

Hauser is well aware that this could bolster his case for minutes if he improves defensively as opponents seem ruthlessly determined to come after him.

“I think I still have some work to do,” Hauser said. “I know I’m going to be involved in a lot of action and I have to hold on a little better. So it’s something I need to work on, but overall I think I’m improving. …

“Defending is tough and something you can always be better at. So something that I will keep trying to do better. Watch a movie, learn from it, and grow from there.

Smart said the Celtics are proud of Hauser for the tremendous progress he has made.

“They come after him and we tell him all the time to expect it,” Smart said. “When we’re in training we go up to him to prepare him for how he’s going to have to be able to do, and we take our hats off to him. He’s doing a great job.

5. The Knicks outshot the Celtics 60-34 in the paint and still lost by 15 points. The 3-point line – behind which the Celtics outscored the Knicks by a staggering 81-33 total – is a potent weapon.

Earlier this season, Mazzulla — when asked about the Celtics shooting a lot of triples — noted that he likes math.

“For the most part I thought we shot great threes,” Mazzulla told reporters on Saturday. “Our guys are comfortable with the fact that when we run a good offense and have good spacing, and read the defense, we’re going to look good. I would say when you film this volume there will be some tough times, but for the most part I think our guys are doing a great job of filming the good ones.

6. The best news for the Celtics on Saturday? Robert Williams is progressing. Williams traveled with the team to New York and spoke to reporters in the locker room before the game. According to Williams, he dives again (although he is careful not to use too much explosion). Williams said he was “hitting the ticks”

“You’re still a little nervous, but that’s why they’re giving me a window, just in case we try something and there’s a setback, you have time to deal with it,” Williams said.

Williams did not offer an update on his schedule. Friday marked six weeks since his injury. The Celtics have previously said they expect 8-12 weeks for his recovery.

7. The Celtics’ offense is now averaging 118.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass, which is the best total in the NBA so far this season. Encouraging for the Celtics, they have destroyed teams in the half court – according to Cleaning the Glass, the Celtics have the best half court offense in the league with 108.3 points per 100 plays (the league average is 95 ,4).

Scoring effectively in transition is usually easier than scoring effectively in the half court. So far, the Celtics seem to have figured out the hardest part.

The Celtics face the NBA’s second best offense to date on Monday when they travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies.

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