They surely liked what they saw.
And it won't be so easy. Right now, it appears their biggest challenge is figuring out how to manage the rotation and play with the new lineups that come with the integration of Tristan Thompson and Isaiah Thomas.
"How much do I watch the Celtics?". The little things he did on and off the court.
"I think that is what everybody is excited about in the basketball world", said Rozier.
"What I like most about him is he has a chip on his shoulder for life", James said. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart each scored 15 and Jaylen Brown 14 as Boston (31-10) won its fourth straight. He added three 3-pointers and three assists before leaving with 8:10 remaining and the Cavs up by 12. They'll remember the way he conjured a driving angle from a stalled possession or set up LeBron James perfectly on a deep seal. "I know it will be all love", he said. Jimmy Butler finished with 30 points but missed at the buzzer as Minnesota lost for only the second time in nine games. Playing on back-to-back nights the Celtics had been preparing for the Cavs since New Years Eve Cleveland shot 34.8 percent.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Thomas described it as a "special night" to finally don the Wine and Gold jersey and return to the floor after seven months out with a hip injury. And this week between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers has given us enough for a lifetime. He doesn't have time for an Isaiah Thomas tribute video. In that time, he stewed over his departure from Boston, where he developed into an All-Star and fan favorite.
Some seconds later, Thomas dropped in a layup after Shabazz Napier got whistled for a foul on the drive. "But we'll be fine".
"They showed their true colors like they always do", Thomas said of Celtics fans after the game. And I love Terry Rozier. "He opened up the game for a lot of us". Isaiah was not a part of that, though, the Cavs having decreed he isn't yet ready for back-to-back National Basketball Association slugfests after recovering from the hip injury that ended his days in Boston in painful fashion seven months ago. "It just - I always say, people always brought the trade up". Then again, neither does Thomas. He received a roaring standing ovation and acknowledged the sellout crowd in a heartfelt manner. And the Cavaliers were playing on the road after flying in late Tuesday night. "Only hard feeling is Danny didnt send me no Christmas card this year", Thomas said.
"There's still movements that I'm scared to do".
According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, before Thomas put on his wine and gold #3 jersey, he sat before his locker and said to himself, "I feel like a damn rookie". I'm not in that good of a shape.
Cleveland's Kevin Love left the game with 1:08 to play in the second quarter after injuring his right ankle in a fall earlier in the period.
Damian Lillard scored 25 for the Blazers after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Lou Williams led the way with 33 points while Blake Griffin had 21 points, eight assists and six boards.
With the win, the Celtics now have a four-and-a-half games ahead of the third-placed Cavs in the east.