Hawks-Celtics Overreactions: Will Romeo Langford be key contributor down the stretch?


Make it six straight wins for the Boston Celtics, who beat the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night by a score of 112-107.

Jayson Tatum was the star as he dropped 32 points while drilling a career-high seven 3-pointers. 

Here are three instant overreactions from the C's victory, which brings them to 36-15 on the season:

1. Romeo Langford will be a key contributor for the Celtics down the stretch.

Verdict: Overreaction

Langford was key for the shorthanded Celtics in Friday night's win, contributing on both ends of the floor. The C's No. 14 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft scored 16 points to go along with five rebounds in 29 minutes. He also notched three blocked shots.

If Boston can get some semblance of consistency down the stretch from the 20-year-old rookie, it'd make a major difference for a team that could use the added bench depth. It's simply too soon to expect that out of Langford, though. We need to see a streak of performances like this one against the top teams in the league, not just the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks.

But judging by Friday night's game, Langford could have a bright future ahead of him.

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2. Size doesn't matter for C's going forward.

Verdict: Overreaction

The Celtics stood pat at the NBA trade deadline, much to the chagrin of C's fans everywhere. That means they didn't address the need for a big man.

You can say "bigs aren't as important in today's NBA" all you want. So far, you've been correct with how this undersized Boston team has fared. Enes Kanter was sensational again with his eighth double-double of the year (16 points, 15 rebounds), and the Celtics pulled off the win despite Daniel Theis and Robert Williams being out with injuries.

But make no mistake, size will matter when teams like the Milwaukee Bucks come along in a seven-game playoff series. Adding a player like Clint Capela would have paid dividends for difficult matchups vs. bigger teams in the postseason. Instead, the Celtics will have to hold on to hope that this impressive regular-season run with their undersized group will carry over into the toughest games of the campaign.

3. Jayson Tatum is the Celtics MVP.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

It seems like all season long, different players have stepped up for the Celtics whether it be Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, you name it.

But lately, Tatum has been living up to his All-Star reputation and has clearly been Boston's Most Valuable Player.

On Friday night, the 21-year-old set a career-high with seven 3-pointers and tallied a game-high 32 points. It marked his eighth straight game with 20-plus points and second consecutive 30-plus point performance.

The kid is simply on another level right about now.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Thunder, which begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 3:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

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