Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Celtics Preseason Game 1: So, What Did We Learn?

Well, folks...the first preseason game for the Boston Celtics post-New Big Three is in the books. So...what did we learn?

From my perspective, we now know a few little things about a lot of things we don't yet know. Got it? Good!
In no particular order of impression, here are the things that stood out:

* Brad Stevens is a patient guy. Not just with the team, which clearly has some deficiencies, but also with the sports media. To the numbskull who tried to explain to Stevens that the NBA isn't college basketball...congratulations. You're now the town moron.

* This Kelly Olynyk guy can play a little. Okay, I actually knew that already from having watched him work in Summer League. But, it was great to see that he was still comfortable doing his thing against real NBA-caliber defense in a fairly competitive game. His passing skills really can't be overstated. He's going to be very valuable in the future.

* Crash still has some things he wants to break. Gerald Wallace, The Invisible Man in Boston since his trade (you know...the one that sent future Hall-of-Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett out of town with The Jet?), "Crash" showed exactly how he earned his nickname by scrapping, clawing and diving to team high scorer. This guy can definitely be an asset to the younger set as a veteran worthy of emulation. Here's hoping he stays around for a while.

* Sully still loves to get sullied, and by sullied, I mean he does the dirty work and bodies, bangs, tugs and gets his shot off over taller players much the same as he was doing before back surgery took him out for the remainder of his rookie season. I'm still not happy with his recently revealed character flaws, but if he keeps playing like this -- and more importantly, keeps his nose clean -- he's going to provide the C's with a low-post presence they'll need to even think about being competitive this year.

* Kris Humphries can be a crowd favorite? Those words would never have crossed my mind before watching him in action on the floor last night, but the way he boxed out and boarded while putting up a few jumpers and scrappy putbacks has me thinking that it won't be long before fans are defending him when some tiny guard from another team decides to shove him for God knows what.

* Jeff Green was a complete gentleman. And by gentleman, I mean he was not the @$$hole that mentor Garnett and AWOL coach Doc Rivers encouraged him to be. For the Celtics to stay out of the bottom of the East, he's going to have to be less Uncle Jeff and more Mean Jeff Green.

* Courtney Lee still hasn't found it. Let's just hope that it's still sitting at the bottom of one of the moving crates marked "Houston to Boston" so he can unpack that bad boy and become the two-way threat many (including myself) thought he could be.

* Jordan Crawford played (gasp!!) under control!?! While I still think he's more Guards Gone Wild than Steady Eddie, I would LOVE for this version of the CrawDaddy to run the floor here in Boston.

* Filling the role of "veteran stabilizer" will be what Keith Bogans does while here in green.

* Brandon Bass is still Brandon Bass. And that's a good thing.

* We might just have a real center on the roster in Vitor "El Hombre Indestructible" Faverani. His body language certainly says "center" and he changed a couple of shots on defense while showing good hands on the fast break.

* The jury's still out on whether Avery Bradley can man the point until Rajon Rondo returns, but his three-point shooting looked to be back in order and his defense and slashing skills were on full display. Ultimately, he's just not going to be the answer at point, but he'll continue to be one of the best on the ball defenders in the game.

* And, speaking of points...we didn't get to see Phil Pressey try his hand at the position (though Stevens has said that he'll be out there vs. New York on Wednesday) and Mar'Shon Brooks wasn't on the floor long enough to see much of anything, but I expect some good nights from him in the near future.

On To Wednesday!! I'm Yelling Again!!

Tale Of The Tape


Who Got Next?:

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
7:30 PM

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