EROTIC CITY IS BACK: Time to Overreact

Follow me on Twitter @27Celtics for all your Celtics needs, Knicks jokes, and general schmuck-ery.

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Erotic City is BACK. Five games into the season, and it’s time to overreact. If you’re a Boston Celtics fan, its hard to imagine a better start than the 4-1 stretch put together by the C’s to open up this season (JK we would be 5-0 if we could hit free throws). This team is fun. They are gritty, they fight and they play for each other. EROTIC CITY IS BACK.

With quality wins over the Kawhi-less Raptors and the dramatic comeback against the presumptive number one seed in Milwaukee, its hard not too think this Celtics team is already better than last years disaster (they are). Kemba has scored 30-plus in three straight contests, and with a game winning bucket to lift the C’s over the Knicks (ha, the knicks), Superstar Tatum seems to have arrived. Additionally, Gordon Hayward looks to be on the cusp of regaining his All-Star form, and Marcus Smart is shooting 40% from deep over the last three games on 9 of 22 attempts.

You read that right. Marcus Smart is hitting threes at a 40% clip.

However, it’s not just the highlights that have Celtics fans asking, “why not us?” this year. It’s the little things. Unfortunately, some folks (clowns) on #NBATwitter refuse to acknowledge the Celtics as legitimate contenders with some (again, clowns) even having Boston as the FOUR SEED.  As the newly self-appointed KING of #CelticsTwitter, allow me to educate everyone.

GORDON HAYWARD

Much like Erotic City, Gordon Hayward is back. Through five games, Hayward is averaging 16ppg, 7 Reb, and 3 assists. Now, that may not seem like the kind of numbers you want from your 127-million-dollar man, until you consider the fact that last year Hayward was averaging 11ppg, 4 Reb, and 3 assists. For those that are rolling their eyes and calling this boost in production a “modest improvement”, please shut your fat mouth and remember that Hayward is putting these numbers up as the third (maybe fourth, when Jaylen comes back) scoring option behind Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum.

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Hayward is more aggressive, driving the lane like he used to in Utah, something he was unable to do with the emotional-basket-case-point-guard who insisted on running iso plays constantly (Pssst…I’m talking about Kyrie). Against Milwaukee, Hayward drove the ball 16 times. This year, Gordon is averaging close to 12 drives a game. Contrast that number to just 5.7 drives to the rack per contest last year, and you start to see why those of us who #BleedGreen are more than just a little excited. Oh and by the way..that 16ppg is on 47% from the field and 55% from deep.

SUPERSTAR TATUM HAS ARRIVED

Last year’s ill-advised deep mid-range jumpers seem like a distant memory, don’t they? Write this down, tweet it, post it on your IG story so you have some clout before everyone jumps on the bandwagon: Tatum will be an all-star and make an All-NBA Team this year. Period.

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This kid is special. We all knew it, and it wasn’t a secret. Although, it’s funny how some will run at the first sign of trouble. I’m old enough to remember certain individuals saying Tatum had “regressed”, “taken a step back” and “wouldn’t be able to blame Kyrie this year.” Again, shut your collective mouths and bear witness to greatness before your eyes, because JT is just getting started.

This year Tatum is averaging 22ppg, 7 reb, and 2 assists per game. Now, those aren’t exactly eye-popping numbers until you consider his career average of around 15ppg, with 5 boards and an assist on 45% from the field and 40% from deep. Therein lay the distinction. His shooting percentage from inside the three-point line is DOWN this year (40% this year vs. the aforementioned 45%) while his three-point percentage is UP; 8 points above his career average (48.6% vs. 40.5%). What do these numbers mean? They mean that if JT can start finishing layups, keep hitting threes, and get a few favorable calls (Celtics fans know this kid can’t buy a ticket to the free throw line this year), his scoring average is going to go through the roof.

Remember the 19-year-old kid that banged all over Lebron in the Eastern Conference Finals? Yeah, that kid is back, and he’s pissed you thought he was all hype.

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KEMBA WALKER

Is it too early to retire this man’s jersey? (FOH it’s an overreaction piece). Seriously though, three straight games with 30 plus points? Averages of 26 points, 5 rebounds, and almost 4 assists in 35 minutes a game? All the leadership you dreamt about, yet never got with Kyrie? I’m naming my first born Kemba. Kemba-lina if it’s a girl.

Its almost unfair to watch Kemba blow by defenders on the way to an easy layup. Against the Bucks, he literally put Giannis on skates. I couldn’t help but smile during the last Knicks game anytime Bobby Portis got the unlucky switch onto Walker. The stop-and-go, the nasty crossovers, and of course the patented Kemba step-backs are fast on their way to becoming the stuff of Boston legend.

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His leadership has been fantastic. He knows the right things to say and when to say them. He knows the importance of getting other players going early, and he knows that with these younger guys, confidence is king. Just listening to him talk about Marcus Smart and his shooting after the Milwaukee game almost brought tears to my eyes. He’s everything we wanted Kyrie to be, and more.

THE DEFENSE

Remember way back, 5 games ago, before the season started? Remember when SOMEBODY (me) said that the Defense wasn’t going to be as bad as everyone thought? Remember when SOMEBODY (me, self-appointed KING of #CelticsTwitter) said to just relax because we didn’t know how the young guys were going to play? You don’t? Its okay. I do. I wrote about it on this very site

The Celtics, by Defensive Rating, are a top 10 defense this year. TimeLord, Grant Williams, and Daniel Theis are defending the paint well, checking in with a top-ten spot in blocks. The wings are disrupting the passing lanes, sitting at 13th in the league with steals per game. Oh, by the way, that Grant Williams kid? He has a defensive rating of 90. (The lower the defensive rating, the better). The Lakers, just for context, have the best defensive rating in the league at 96. Embiid and Giannis both had relatively quiet nights against the Celtics, and even Khris Middleton, who usually DESTROYS Boston, had a plus/minus of -8 in that thrilling come-from-behind win.

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This Defense is for real.

WHAT TO EXPECT GOING FORWARD:

The Celtics start their road trip against the Cavaliers in Cleveland, and then head out to Charlotte for Kemba’s first time back at Spectrum Center as a Celtic. Afterwards, they head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs before returning back to the Garden to take on Luca Doncic and the Mavericks. Its hard not to predict a clean sweep on the road, so I’ll just go ahead and predict it: The Boston Celtics will sweep on the road and come home to Boston 7-1. Will they beat the Mavs at home? I’m honestly not sure. I am sure of one thing, though…

EROTIC CITY IS BACK.

Follow me on twitter @27Celtics for all your Celtics needs, realistic predictions, and Kyrie jokes.

PS. WTF is up with the schedule? Play the Knicks on Friday and make me wait until Tuesday for another game? I don’t want to watch Harden shoot 30 free throws a game. Whatever.

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