The Boston Celtics are the first team this year to push themselves into the second round of the 2018-19 NBA Playoffs. They completed the four-game sweep last night against the Indiana Pacers with considerable ease, finishing Game 4 at 110-106.
This would be the Celtic’s first sweep in a Playoff series since 2011 when they took down the New York Knicks. The sweep can be chalked down by many things this team has up its sleeve. Some of it was just straight talent, it could’ve also been their depth, but the Celtics simply out-executed the Paces down the stretch in each of the last 3 games. In the final six minutes of Games 2 and 4, Boston outscored Indiana 61-42.
But last nights victory didn’t come from their starting 5, it truly came from their bench who scored 49 points combined on 69% shooting. That’s not just depth in terms of usable bodies, that’s big-time production depth. Gordon Hayward led with 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting (3-3 from behind the arc) and had 9 of his points in the final quarter. Marcus Morris made 7-of-11 shots on the way to 18 points, and Terry Rozier was 4-for-6 en route to 11.
This series between Boston and Indiana was a bona fide grinder. It wasn’t your typical first-round matchup that’s like a hot knife through butter (Celtics being the knife). Boston needed to actually come out and grind out these wins, and that’s good for this team. On the one hand, you liked Boston’s grit throughout the series and ability to finish close games. This also showed Indiana’s heart and belief in each game, especially without their superstar Victor Oladipo. But on the other, the Pacers for all their grit, aren’t even close to the up-and-coming Bucks, who safe to say look like their next opponent.
Catch you Thursday.