Celtics

Celtics’ Team Awards for Their Clean Sweep of Philly

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The Celtics swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. Now, it’s time to hand out some awards and give credit to those who deserve it.

 

MVP: Jayson Tatum

Tatum had a tremendous series as he led the Celtics in points (27), rebounds (9.8) and blocks (2.2) per game. He shot 48.7 percent from the field and a scorching hot 45.2 percent from three. The Celtics forward showed his dominance on the offensive end, and showed that he can be the number one option on a really good team in the playoffs. However, his performance on the defensive end was just as impressive. When being guarded by Tatum, Sixers players shot just 27.7 percent.

Defensive Player: Marcus Smart

Smart was all over the floor defensively and was a big part of how the Celtics bothered Joel Embiid. Smart is great at doubling the post because when he commits, he commits hard, forcing the post player to pick up the ball and make a quick decision. He averaged 3.3 deflections per game, showing that he could wreak havoc when applying ball pressure.

 

6th Man: Enes Kanter

With Smart sliding into the starting lineup for the injured Gordon Hayward, there was a substantial need for bench production. Kanter’s numbers weren’t anything special — just 5.5 points and six rebounds per game — but he brought physicality when guarding Embiid and did a decent job on him. Embiid shot just 46.4 percent when being guarded by Kanter, while also committing four turnovers. He played a big part in the Celtics’ ability to wear Embiid down throughout each game, as he attacked the offensive glass and battled on the defensive end.

Clutch Player: Kemba Walker

Walker led the way for the Celtics with three clutch points per game. The starting point guard had a phenomenal series that had him looking like the Walker of old. He averaged 24.3 points and 3.8 assists per game. While he struggled from three, he still managed to shoot 49.3 percent from the field. There was also nothing better than Walker cooking former Celtic Al Horford to seal the game.

Surprise Player: Grant Williams

Williams got the call as the small-ball five for the Celtics when Philly ran Horford at center. He played great defense on Horford all series long, holding him to just three points on 33.3 percent shooting. This isn’t why Williams is the surprise player, however. He is getting this award as he shot 4-4 from three in the series. If Williams can continue to knock down triples, it will give him more of a chance to see the floor during this playoff run.

Disappointing Player: Gordon Hayward/Semi Ojeleye

Hayward and Ojeleye are taking home this award for two very different reasons. Hayward is getting this award as his injury luck has been brutal since signing with the Celtics. He was diagnosed with a grade-three ankle sprain after Game 1, which will likely keep him out until the Eastern Conference Finals, if the Celtics are still alive by then. It’s tough, as Hayward was playing the best basketball of his Celtics career this season, and not being able to show it in the playoffs is very disappointing.

Ojeleye, on the other hand, was just awful in his minutes on the court. He averaged one point per game on 20 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from three. Despite playing just 9.7 minutes per game, Ojeleye’s net rating was a -1.6. He often times looked overwhelmed and just missed wide open shots. If teams are going to leave him open and focus on Boston’s other scorers on offense, Ojeleye has to knock down shots and make the most of his time on the floor.

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About Mason Urban

Sports writer for The Spectrum newspaper and contributor for The Lead Sports Media

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