The Celtics had a good road trip. They won two games, lost one but are only two games behind the Charlotte Hornets in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Before the C's welcome back old friend Jeff Green and the Memphis Grizzlies, here are three things we learned from the Celtics' three-game road trip.
ISAIAH THOMAS AKA MR. FOURTH QUARTER
Isaiah averaged 24.3 points against New Orleans, Orlando and Miami and has turned into the Celtics' go-to-guy in the fourth quarter. In the past three games, Thomas is averaging 11 points in the fourth. His 14 points in the fourth quarter pushed the C's past the Pelicans last Friday night in New Orleans and his 12 points in the fourth quarter of Monday's game at Miami was enough to finish off the Heat.
Celtics will continue to rely on Thomas' offense in the second half but he can't always bail them out. Thomas scored 7 points in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Orlando against the Magic, but when no one else could get it going for the C's it got ugly. The Magic put together a 13-2 run in the fourth quarter, giving them an eight-point lead with less than a minute left. Although the C's went 2-1 on this trip, the Magic is the only team on the trip with a worst record than the Celtics.
While Avery Bradley is out the Celtics have other temporary options but no one knows who will step up every night. One night it could be Jae Crowder, another night it could be Evan Turner. In the meantime the offense will continue to run through Thomas, who the Celtics will continue to rely on in the fourth quarter.
GIGI CAN PLAY
Did anyone predict this? The Italian Stallion, Luigi "Gigi" Datome is coming off the best two games of his NBA career. This guy can play.
The Gigi era began at Orlando when he drained two three-pointers and slammed home a dunk in his first two minutes on court. And we haven't seen James Young since. Datome finished the night scoring 10 points along with 2 blocks in ten minutes. He then followed that up with 13 points, 3 rebounds in 20 minutes against Miami. Before the road trip, Datome only played 35 minutes all season long.
Sorry, James but your playing time will decrease dramatically because of this. Gigi does a little of everything. He plays defense, scores three-pointers, scores off-the-dribble and fits in nicely with the second unit. Expect TD Garden to roar for Gigi and Uncle Jeff tonight.
ALL ABOUT THAT BASS
Brandon Bass put together two of his best games of the season, including a career night against his former team. In Orlando, Bass scored 19 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds. Bass then followed that up with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. He also led the team in assists in both games, dishing out 5 against the Magic and 4 against the Heat.
So far it's been no Sullinger, no problem. Hopefully Bass can keep this up, the C's really need him. Olynyk looks like he's still recovering from his injury and Tyler Zeller has been ice cold lately. Although we learned that Bass is going to step up in Sullinger's absence, he needs to be more assertive in the fourth quarter. Don't shy away. In the past, we've seen Bass hit some big shot in the fourth quarter. Celtics need him to shoot more, they will not make the playoffs solely on Thomas' offense.