The Boston Celtics offense lit up the porous Cleveland Cavaliers defense, winning 128-95.
A lot of the time, as fans and analysts, we look at the Boston Celtics shooting numbers and see how bad they are and see how many open shots they’ve missed (hint: a lot) and put the offensive woes down to poor shooting when the real reasons the shooting is down are so much more complex than that.
On the other hand, there was no secret to the Celtics season-best 128 points in a 33-point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers: the Cavaliers defense is really bad, like its 29th ranking doesn’t do it justice bad.
You can guard Kyrie perfectly and give up a basket. In fact, Kyrie hit a few shots that no defense could’ve stopped Friday. But the Cavaliers did not guard him perfectly.
Irving made 11-of-15 shots and was 5-for-7 from three-point range, scoring 29 points and registering 4 assists in 27 minutes against his former team. When you aren’t physical enough defensively against a great player, you essentially give a guy like Irving a runway, giving him the ability to dictate exactly what he wants to do.
Irving wasn’t the only player to feast on the Cavaliers porous defense. Every active player on the roster scored Friday night. Seven player reached double figures in scoring, including all five starters.
For the third time all season, the Celtics shot better than 50 percent from the floor, finishing 49-for-92 (53.3%), their best mark of the year. Boston made 17-of-31 from downtown. Aron Baynes and Robert Williams were the only players not to make a three-pointer for the home team.
It’s great to rack up a ton of points, and have everybody see the ball go in against an inferior team. For players like Gordon Hayward (14 points) and Terry Rozier (10 points) it’s an opportunity to start feeling good about yourself again.
Yabusele drilled a three, Ojeleye threw down a hammer dunk, and Williams caught an alley oop and blocked some fools. Those are valuable moments for young guys trying to earn their spot in this league.
But Boston better not get too comfortable after the two big scoring nights in a row. Former Boston Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau and the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-10) host the Boston Celtics Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.
The Timberwolves are playing much more inspired basketball since trading Jimmy Butler and have held their last three opponents under 100 points.
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