NBA in Threes: Warriors struggle; Morant and Kyrie battle it out

NBA Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NBA Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics

After a poor opening night in terms of shooting the Boston Celtics grabbed their first win against the Toronto Raptors in their home opener.

Enes Kanter did not start for the Celtics with a left knee contusion. He’s expected to miss at least two games. Instead, Daniel Theis started at the five.  In the opening minutes, I said to myself, “I like Theis better than Kanter.” I wasn’t sure why, but it was an instant impression.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to put my finger on it as early in the first quarter, Theis rolled his ankle and had to leave the game. He did return and played just shy of 15 minutes but went 0 of 7 from the field and 1 of 2 from the free-throw line. He did, however, contribute six rebounds, two blocks and an assist to the Celtics’ win.

Although it looked like he might have trouble finding his range early, Jayson Tatum put together a solid night. He went 4-7 from3-point range with 25 points,  nine rebounds, four assists and three steals on the night.

Kemba Walker had a pretty quiet opening night in Philadelphia and that seemed like it might continue into game two. He scored only 4 points in the first half against Toronto going just 1-9 from the field.

Happily for the Celtics, it was game time for Walker in the second half. He scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to go along with two each in the blocks, steals and assists columns. In his career, Walker is a 36 percent 3-point shooter. He’s started out cold from beyond the arc this season for Boston at only 21 percent. That’s a number you have to hope goes up for the Celtics as the season progresses.

I had to chuckle at this clip of Brad Stevens in his postgame interview.