Boston is on a roll.
The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 119-111 in the 2023-2024 NBA regular season at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Jan. 28. Boston has gotten off to a great start, winning two straight games to open the season.
The hero of the game was Derrick White. White scored 28 points and grabbed six rebounds, and was very active on defense. The Boston duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 49 points.
Then there’s Boston’s Altoran-like player. That would be J.R. Halladay, who was acquired in a trade just before the start of the season. Halladay had an all-around great game, scoring 17 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out seven assists. In addition to his offense, he also showed off his strengths on defense. He kept Miami’s ace, Jimmy Butler, off the scoreboard. Butler was held to 14 points and two assists on the night. Halladay’s defense had a big impact.
Halladay is arguably one of the best defenders in the NBA. He’s been named to the All-NBA Defensive Team five times. His awards make him highly regarded among players. Kevin Durant even named Halladay the most difficult defender to guard.
Boston traded for Marcus Smart this summer. Smart is just as good a defender as Halladay. Smart was even named Defensive Player of the Year in Boston and was a key part of the Boston defense. He was also a leader for the younger players. That’s the kind of player he was. Boston didn’t appear to be looking for a replacement, but when Halladay became available in the Damian Lillard trade, they snatched him up. They got the perfect replacement for Smart. If Halladay was going to leave the Milwaukee Bucks, he wanted to come to Boston.
The difference between Halladay and Smart is offense. Smart has shown improvement every year, but he’s clearly limited on offense. He has never averaged more than 15 points in his career. Even in the 2022-2023 season, he averaged 11.5 points and 6.3 assists. Because of his ups and downs on offense and poor three-point shooting, teams facing Boston in the playoffs have used a strategy of taking away Smart’s three-point shot and tightening up on defense against Brown and Tatum. And it’s been very effective.
Halladay, on the other hand, is different. Halladay has a history of averaging over 20 points per game. In the 2022-2023 season, he averaged 19.3 points and 7.4 assists for Milwaukee. He’s also a better 3-point shooter than Smart. This makes him much more difficult to defend for teams facing Boston. In Milwaukee, Halladay played alongside Khris Middleton and Yannis Adetokunbo. Both Middleton and Adetokunbo can handle the ball, but neither is good enough to be the primary ball handler. In Milwaukee, Halladay was the primary ball-handler.
In Boston, it’s different. Brown and Tatum are both long ball players. For Halladay, there will be much less pressure on offense. He’ll be able to focus on his strengths on defense 카지노 and just support Brown and Tatum on offense. Even his backcourt partner, White, is a good offensive player. Halladay doesn’t need to be up front on offense.
Even though it’s only been two games, the fit between Halladay and Boston is fantastic. While Milwaukee made a splash with the addition of Lillard, the Celtics made a big splash with the addition of Kristaps Porzingis and Halladay. Here’s why you should keep an eye on Boston.