Why you should feel good about the Celtics after 2 games


How has bubble life been for the Celtics to date? So far, so good.

The record stands at 1-1, but there are certainly more feels-goods than Kemba Walker-knee-type-worries.

Starting with ...

My man❤️ https://t.co/BSSmj6wItx

— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) August 2, 2020

Let's start with three of the four most important players on the Celtics and how they managed in Game 2, the win over Portland.

The bad shooting, bad defense, bad vibes Jayson Tatum threw out in the Celtics' re-introduction Friday night disappeared in a hurry. Funny how that happens with really, really, really good players. 

Jayson Tatum did a little bit of everything in Sunday's win for the @celtics- Team-high 34 Pts (9 of his 11 FG were contested)- Teammates shot 8-8 off his passes (6-6 on 3-pt FG)- Held Damian Lillard to 1-5 FG as a primary defender (0-2 in 4th qtr) pic.twitter.com/v1PhRlqUqW

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 2, 2020

Jaylen Brown also offered a pretty powerful reminder, on and off the court. He is becoming a star.

The hiatus was thick with praise for Tatum's emergence into superstar status. Meanwhile, Brown was getting much-deserved atta-boys for his articulate takes and powerful actions exhibited during the fight for social justice. Some, however, forgot how good a 2019-20 season he was having before the shutdown. Sunday he offered a reminder thanks to a dominating fourth quarter and 30 points in total.

Jaylen Brown opened his postgame presser by thanking the NBA for allowing players to peacefully protest during the National Anthem. Then, he discussed his stance on the matter: pic.twitter.com/RraFnOZHYg

— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) August 2, 2020

And to make the whole thing work even better has been how well Gordon Hayward has fit into this equation, playing 34 minutes in each of the first two games while serving as a perfect complement in each.

So, that's three. 

It's the idea of what a full-go Kemba Walker might supply that should truly offer optimism when actually talking about a Finals run.

Nobody could have expected him to look much better than he did while playing with those minutes restrictions, totaling 19 minutes in Game 1 (16 points) and 22 in Game 2 (14 points). And it is this development should actually open up those conversations about the Celtics competing against the NBA's iron. We are getting the notion that ust enough patience should pay off.

"Brad is not putting me back in,” Walker told reporters after the win. "Doesn’t matter the kind of emotions I’ve got. He’s not going over the restriction limit. It don’t matter. My best bet is to stay positive, cheer my teammates on to the best of my ability, and that’s what I try to do — stay engaged into the game.”

.@KembaWalker's heating up ------ pic.twitter.com/XdmYDm1TFP

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 2, 2020

Sure, big teams might give this team some trouble, and the second-half defensive acumen against the Trailblazers left something to be desired. But all things considered, this was a good start.

The Celtics probably aren't going to catch the Bucks or the Raptors, but what they have shown so far are the pieces and potential to go toe-to-toe with both teams if the opportunity arises. At least that's first impression, at least.