Fans cheer Boston Celtics' Joe Johnson after he made a shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)AP
The Celtics experienced undeniable highs on their way to the NBA Finals last season. They hadn’t made it over the conference finals hump since 2010, and their young stars grew right in front of the nation. Boston’s set up great for the future, adding the likes of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari this offseason.
Before flipping the page to the 2022-23 season — which is about two months away still — there are some reflections still left from the Celtics’ season. And not the big, overarching moments like when the C’s bounced back from an 18-21 start to the season. Instead, let’s focus on the low-key moments that might have been buried throughout the course of the regular season and playoffs.
Here are five underrated, forgotten or perhaps overlooked moments from the 2021-22 season.

Johnson comes out of retirement
The obvious headliner for this came in late-December, right when COVID-19 disruptions hit the league. The Celtics were no different as multiple players were in healthy and safety protocols, forcing them to sign players on 10-day contracts. Insert Joe Johnson, the longtime veteran who hadn’t scored a bucket in the NBA since 2018.
His signing, of course, made waves around the league. “Iso Joe,” in his first game back in a Celtics uniform, even got into the garbage time against the Cavaliers on Dec. 23. That’s when — just like he’s done so many times in his career — Johnson hit the 18-foot fadeaway jumper. The TD Garden crowd went crazy, and it ended up being one of the feel-good moments of what was a tough Celtics season up to that point.
“It was fun to get that type of ovation from the crowd,” Johnson said after he hit the shot. “Them chanting my name — that was special to me. I appreciate them for that. The game was fun. I had a great time throughout the whole entire game.”
Cruz didn’t pan out in Boston, but found a role

When Juancho Hernangomez was traded to the Celtics last summer, he was already set to star in his new movie, “Hustle,” alongside co-star Adam Sandler and a surprising cast of NBA faces. Hernangomez didn’t make too much of an impact during his time with the Celtics, though, only suiting up in 18 games before being traded to the Spurs.
Hernangomez ended up finding a role with the Jazz, though, playing in 17 games (nine starts) down the stretch of the season. He even found himself in the playoff rotation by the end of the season.
Remember those guys?
There was roughly a month after the Celtics traded for a pair of injured players in Bol Bol and PJ Dozier from the Nuggets. Dozier was never going to play for the Celtics after he tore his ACL. But there was some intrigue for Bol, who underwent foot surgery before getting traded.
Bol was around the team while he was going through rehab, though, and Boston coach Ime Udoka did float out the idea of him being around past the season. Of course, Bol and Dozier was moved at the trade deadline, but there was a little bit of interest around Bol.
The one that got away
Celtics fans probably get some Max Strus vibes when the Celtics ended up waiving Garrison Mathews at the end of last season’s training camp.
Mathews ended up signing a two-way contract with the Rockets, where he thrived in his role. Mathews ended up averaging 10 points per game in 65 games (33 starts). He started off shooting hot from 3-point land and finished the season at 36% from behind the arc. Realistically, Mathews doesn’t get the same opportunities in Boston, but if he ends up becoming the next Strus, fans will remember that.
The former No. 2 pick had a few moments
After Jabari Parker was a late add during the 2020-21 season, he had a chance to stick with the Celtics. He had his moments throughout the season, suiting up in 12 games, averaging 4.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. But the Celtics ended up waiving him before his contract was fully guaranteed, and he hasn’t found a new team in the league yet.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (User Agreement updated 1/1/21. Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement updated 7/1/2022).
Cookie Settings
© 2022 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.
Ad ChoicesAd Choices




Arabic Arabic Bulgarian Bulgarian Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English French French German German Hindi Hindi Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Korean Korean Portuguese Portuguese Russian Russian Spanish Spanish