BOSTON (CBS) – Adam Jones was on air to react to the Celtics 97-87 victory over the Utah Jazz at the TD Garden Wednesday night. The win marked the first of the season for the C’s, and it was also the first of Brad Stevens’ NBA coaching career.
After running away to a 50-34 lead to end the first half, the Celtics increased their lead even more in the third quarter and jumped out to a 84-62 lead entering the fourth.
Then the offense sputtered, the Jazz rallied back and their double-digit deficit was cut to just six points late in the fourth quarter. Adam Jones credits forward Brandon Bass as the main reason for holding the fort in the fourth.
But the biggest reason the Celtics moved to 1-4 is because of the lineup changes made by coach Brad Stevens, and a bench that contributed 44 points.
“One of the major tweaks in this game tonight was Gerald Wallace coming off the bench. He was effectively replaced in the starting lineup by Jordan Crawford. Avery Bradley and Jeff Green each slid up a spot from point guard and shooting guard respectively, to two guard and small forward,” said Jones. “That allowed Wallace to come off the bench and contribute a balanced performance tonight, chipping in with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.”
“The Celtics got a spark off their bench in this one. The starting lineup for the C’s had a couple players in double figures – Brandon Bass and Jeff Green – but also Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.”
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz in scoring with 28 points in 40 minutes. The former Butler University star played under coach Brad Stevens from 2008 – 2010, and as a restricted free agent next summer Adam Jones believes he’s someone Celtics fans should keep a close eye on.
“Whether you like what you saw or not, that’s someone you should familiarize yourself with if you’re looking into the future as a Celtics fan. He was the best player on the floor in this one. If you’re looking ahead, and if you’re starting to keep an eye on some of the restricted free agents out there, Gordon Hayward would be at the top of my list.”
The Celtics travel to Florida this weekend to play the Magic in Orlando on Friday and the Heat in Miami on Saturday.
Listen to Jones’ full postgame analysis below: