Robert Williams expressed previously this 7 days how considerably he was on the lookout ahead to exacting revenge on the Toronto Raptors immediately after they had spoiled the Boston Celtics’ Oct. 22 residence opener with a 115-83 defeat.
On Wednesday night time, he and the C’s acquired the payback they experienced been waiting around for.
Significantly less than a few months immediately after being stomped by a far more bodily, far more locked-in Toronto crew, the Celtics returned the favor with a 104-88 get at TD Backyard.
“It was all aggressiveness,” explained Williams, who impacted the sport on both ends with 16 factors, 13 rebounds, two steals, and a block. “I felt like us as a crew, not just me, did a excellent occupation rebounding. We did a excellent occupation with physicality. We realized we were lacking that (in the to start with matchup), so we did a great career stepping that up.”
The Celtics a lot more than just stepped it up. They entirely flipped the script on the Raptors.
In their very first matchup, Toronto experienced a 21-10 edge on the offensive boards, which led to a 23-4 edge in 2nd-opportunity factors. This time all-around, the Celtics dominated the offensive glass, 12-6, although outscoring the Raptors 21-8 in next-opportunity details.
“We returned the favor fairly to what they did to us in the first video game, switching anything and producing some cross-matches,” explained head coach Ime Udoka. “And when we experienced isolation or penetration to the basket, we informed our bigs to actually attack the glass, make them shell out.”
Williams was at the forefront of it all, as he grabbed a job-substantial 8 offensive rebounds following matching his prior career-most effective of 6 during the very first 50 percent by itself. 5 of his 8 area-objective tends to make came on put-back tries, which includes his to start with four buckets of the recreation.
“With Rob, that was anything I pointed out to him a couple of video games in the past, I felt like he wasn’t heading as really hard as he could to the offensive glass, type of just standing guiding fellas,” reported Udoka. “Showed him some movie and talked to him about the hard work it will take and how he can impact the sport, so he has seriously labored on that about the previous couple of game titles.”
The full group has worked on upping its aggressiveness around the earlier couple of weeks, primarily on the defensive end.
By the very first 5 games, the Celtics rated 23rd in the NBA in defensive ranking with a mark of 110.6. Even so, in their final six matchups, the C’s have posted a mark of 99.7, fantastic for second in the league for the duration of that span.
“I consider we’ve jelled to some extent,” Udoka explained. “Obviously that Florida journey was awesome, keeping [Miami and Orlando] to 78 and 79, but even 88 tonight versus a nicely-oiled offensive workforce is a fantastic occupation. So we’re studying the intensity and exertion it usually takes to get just about every evening … We’re mixing up some coverages, we located out what some fellas do superior than we did in the preseason, and I consider as coaches, we learned as nicely. But the players have taken that to coronary heart. We have been harm by what we did in the to start with sport towards these fellas and really took it to heart and introduced the hard work tonight.”
And it was not just Williams who introduced the effort. The Celtics experienced five various gamers score between 13 and 22 factors, and every single a single of them stepped up on the defensive close, as well.
Jayson Tatum led the offense with a 22-level, 12-rebound, seven-support effectiveness and Dennis Schroder, starting off in put of an injured Jaylen Brown, additional 20 factors of his own. Marcus Wise tacked on 13 points, a match-high-tying six assists, and three steals, whilst Josh Richardson tallied 15 points and a few steals off the bench.
Boston appeared like a well-oiled device on the two ends of the court, and Williams believes that had a great deal to do with how they’re establishing as a group off the court.
“I truly feel like we’re coming together off of the courtroom far more, bonding, truly getting out things about each and every other,” he mentioned. “We’re all basketball players, we’re all hoopers, but we’ve received to make that bond, that strength of recognizing I can go to war with these men beside me.”
On Wednesday night time, individuals men all had the same goal: to appear out aggressive versus a actual physical Raptors group and pay out them back for that anomaly of a household-opening loss. And which is accurately what they did.