Celtics Show New Identity in Season-Opening Win Over Knicks: ‘Just Be Nasty’

The Celtics were led by their two All-Stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who combined for 70 points on 25-of-49 shooting. Tatum scored 37 points, including a game-tying three-pointer with 7.6 seconds left in regulation. Brown added 33 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:07 left in overtime. Both players also contributed on the defensive end, with Tatum grabbing nine rebounds and Brown getting four steals.

Tatum and Brown showed their chemistry and leadership on the court, as they took turns carrying the offense and encouraging their teammates. They also embraced Udoka’s message of playing with toughness and passion, as they did not back down from the physical and vocal Knicks. Tatum said after the game that Udoka told them to “just be nasty” and that he liked the coach’s mentality.

Schroder and Williams Provide Spark Off the Bench

The Celtics also got valuable contributions from their bench, especially from Dennis Schroder and Robert Williams III. Schroder, who signed with the Celtics in the offseason, scored 23 points and dished out eight assists in his debut. He provided energy and playmaking for the second unit, as well as some clutch baskets in the fourth quarter and overtime. Williams, who re-signed with the Celtics in the offseason, had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. He also had four blocks, including a crucial one on Julius Randle in overtime.

Schroder and Williams showed their versatility and impact on both ends of the floor, as they complemented Tatum and Brown well. They also showed their willingness to sacrifice and accept their roles, as Schroder came off the bench for the first time since his rookie season and Williams played through a toe injury. They both said that they trusted Udoka’s decisions and that they were happy to help the team win.

Knicks Put Up a Tough Fight

The Knicks did not make it easy for the Celtics, as they played with intensity and confidence throughout the game. The Knicks were led by Randle, who had a triple-double of 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. He was supported by RJ Barrett, who scored 19 points, and Kemba Walker, who had 17 points against his former team. The Knicks also got a boost from their bench, especially from Alec Burks, who scored 16 points, and Obi Toppin, who had 14 points.

The Knicks showed their improvement and potential as a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, as they matched the Celtics’ firepower and toughness. They also showed their resilience, as they bounced back from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter and forced overtime with a three-pointer by Barrett with 5.7 seconds left in regulation. The Knicks had a chance to win the game in overtime, but missed some shots and committed some turnovers down the stretch.

Celtics Start Season on a High Note

The Celtics started their season on a high note, as they beat one of their rivals on the road in a thrilling game. The Celtics showed their new identity under Udoka, who impressed in his coaching debut. The Celtics played with toughness, passion, and togetherness, as they overcame adversity and executed in crunch time. The Celtics also showed their depth and talent, as they got contributions from different players in different ways.

The Celtics hope to build on this win and continue to grow as a team throughout the season. They have high expectations for themselves, as they aim to compete for a championship in a competitive Eastern Conference. They also have a lot of room for improvement, as they need to work on their defense, rebounding, and shooting consistency. The Celtics will face another test on Friday night, when they host the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden.

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