By MyFM's Jake Archer - The Boston Celtics have gotten a good little break in the season and the timing probably couldn't have been better. After losing three straight at home to limp into All Star weekend, the players and coaches headed on their seperate ways to have some fun and relax.
A few of the Celtics most prominent players were off to Los Angeles for the All Star festivities. On Friday night, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum got to play in the "Rising Stars Challenge," which is a game for the best rookies and sophomores the NBA has to offer. The teams were not split into first and second year players, but instead into United States born players versus players from other parts of the world. Brown and Tatum teamed up for the USA, but besides the Lakers' Kyle Kuzma, they didn't receive much help and lost 155-124 to the World team. Brown dropped a game high 35 points, which included highlight after highlight dunk. The fact that he wasn't a participant in Saturday night's dunk contest remains a crime. Jaylen also grabbed ten rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Jayson Tatum came up with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. He also dazzled with a few dunks of his own. The young Celtics impressed against a great crop of talent and made Boston fans feel even better about the future. On Saturday night, Celtics big man Al Horford competed in the "Taco Bell Skills Challenge" where he ended up cruising through the event until struggling with the 3-point shots at the end. He fell to Sixers big man Joel Embiid in the competition despite having a large lead.
On Sunday night, Horford would get some run in the actual All Star game as a part of the team picked by captain Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Big Al played just under 13 minutes and picked up six points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal. His Celtic teammate, Kyrie Irving, was voted as a starter and was on the team picked by LeBron James. Kyrie had a solid game with 13 points, seven rebounds, nine dimes and one steal. He made a few highlight moves with his handles and helped his squad get a 148-145 victory.
Apart from the activities going on in southern California, I'm sure the rest of the Celtics were relaxing and resting up. Head coach Brad Stevens spent his Monday down in Fort Myers at Red Sox camp where he talked with new Sox manager Alex Cora and addressed the team before their first full squad workout. I love seeing the local teams supporting eachother and I know with the type of coach Stevens is, the visit could only have been a huge positive for the local baseball club. Now let's get back to basketball, starting on Friday night in Detroit.