I don’t want to speak too soon and jinx it, but after spending the entire season being roasted by the rest of the HeatCheck family – the Celtics are quietly picking up momentum.
They have won their last four games, and since the All-Star break have picked up wins against Denver, Milwaukee and Portland.
Despite striking out on the buy-out market, and not making the big splash everyone was hoping for at the trade deadline (no disrespect to Evan Fournier, who has looked great with the exception of his Celtics debut) – the C’s have received a boost from 21-year-old Romeo Langford, who has missed pretty much the entire season so far with injuries.
In fact, he missed so much time that some fans starting to question if he really existed or not.
The truth is, he does exist, and has been helping the Celtics on both ends since he returned to the team.
He is 6’6 but has a 6’10 wingspan which comes in handy when blocking shots or grabbing steals. In fact, the Celtics are 5-1 since he returned, and have a top-five defence over those games.
Last season, guards show 33 per cent when guarded by Romeo, making only 24 per cent of their three-point attempts when guarded by the myth. Offensively, he is not too bad either, stay tuned because if this kid can stay healthy, he will be a problem!
Back from injury, Romeo Langford protects the rim in his first game of the 2020-21 [email protected] on NBA LP pic.twitter.com/N5aF2XQzER
Speaking of being a problem… the other huge factor in the Celtics recent success, aside from Marcus Smart invigorating the team, has been the play of Jayson Tatum since the All-Star break!
JT is officially known as The Problem, sorry Stormzy. https://t.co/n36bXQptMJ
Last year before the season was put on hiatus we saw JT go on an absolute tear after All-Star weekend, and once again he seems to have stepped up.
Over the past 18 games, he is putting up 27.4 points on 49.5/40.7/90.1 per cent splits. In fact, after leading the team to six wins in their last seven games, he averaged 29.4 points per game over the stretch, on 51.5/41.3/91.3 per cent efficiency.
He’s always had a huge array of scoring moves in his bag, and being 6’8 (or 6’10 depending on who you ask) he’s always had the ability to shoot over smaller defenders, so what’s caused the uptick in efficiency?
Well unfortunately, Tatum has been struggling with the aftereffects of Covid-19 due to missing time because of Health & Safety Protocols earlier this season. Now, he says he takes an inhaler before each game to help his breathing while on the court.
I asked Jayson Tatum if he was 100% recovered from his January bout with COVID; he said he now needs to use an inhaler before every game, something he never had to do pre-coronavirus. More here on Tatum's perseverance/elevated play, and how Marcus Smart is also sparking Boston: pic.twitter.com/BQQqF1u5re
Hopefully, Tatum sharing this information with the public will help dispel some of the myths that the virus is just a ‘really bad cold’ that you can recover from quickly.
If a 23-year-old elite athlete is still suffering effects of the virus months later, then hopefully this serves as a lesson that despite the lockdown restrictions easing, we still take the upmost care to keep ourselves and the people around us healthy.
Stay locked in for the full edition of Talking Buckets tomorrow, but in the meantime tune in to Sky Sports Arena tonight to see the C’s do what they do best, and #BeatLA.
Live NBA: Boston @ LA Lakers 15.04
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