Boston Celtics: Random Thoughts from Their Preseason Loss to the Knicks
I'll admit it: I got way too excited for Saturday's preseason game. I was on my couch with pen and notebook in hand, analyzing every second of the game. What can I say: it's been far too long since I've really been able to do that.
Luckily for you though, like the Celtics, I am still in preseason form so I will not be synthesizing all of my numerous thoughts and ideas into a 4,000-word rambling. There's a time and a place for those and while I'm not sure what exactly the exact time and place is, I know that it is not here and certainly not now.
It's just the preseason, so it's hard to read too much into it. But that's not going to stop me from trying.
By far the biggest takeaway from this game was the performance of Jeff Green.
He didn't dominate really, he just—as Bill Belichick would say—"did his job." Coming off the bench, he gave the Celtics exactly what they needed. Just look at his stat line: 12 points (5-of-10 shooting) and four rebounds. That's all the Celtics need from him and he gave just that—and in impressive fashion too, I might add.
Then, on the next possession, he hit a three. Now that's versatility. And if you want further proof, he went on to have another big dunk and hit a jump hook over Tyson Chandler, who just so happens to be the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
(If you're wondering why I didn't once mention that Green missed all of last season, it's because I didn't notice.)
Like Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger showed exactly what Celtics fans wanted to see. He was the leading scorer for the Celtics while still shooting over 50 percent and pulled down seven boards, three of which were offensive.
I don't know whether it's because he was drafted late or because he didn't know it was a preseason game, but, in any case, Sullinger was more aggressive tonight than Joe Biden was on Thursday, and it's awesome to see.
If he's going to hit the deck for loose balls or shove position under the hoop in a preseason game, then I can only imagine what he is going to do in the regular season...or the playoffs.
Bass Needs to Step It Up
If there's one thing Brandon Bass can't do, it's think.
When he thinks too much, he goes into a weird passive-aggressive mode where he passes on open jumpers but takes ill-advised drives to the hoop. Right now, he's thinking too much and he's in that mode.
Maybe it's Jared Sullinger threatening his starting spot or maybe he just needs some time to get back into the swing of things. In either case, it's still only preseason so I'll hold off judgement until October 30th. (That's not "Judgement Day" or anything; it's just the first game of the season. Sorry if I worried anyone.)
Why We Watch
It was a fleeting moment in the game: the Celtics go on a mini-run to push the lead to 11 points and force a Knick timeout. Was it significant? Somewhat—it gave the Celtics momentum and a bigger lead, but they did ultimately lose so it wasn't a game-changing moment really.
For such a marginal moment in the game though, it seemed to mean so much more.
What is better than a Celtics' run capped off by a Kevin Garnett dunk, a frustration technical by Carmelo Anthony and a timeout by the Knicks all while the crowd goes nuts? As Celtics fans, we live for those moments and I'm happy they're back.
Assorted Other Random Thoughts
- I loved the commercial with the tagline: "This will be a great story. Don't miss the beginning" and KG hitting a game-winner in the background. Whoever makes the commercials for the Celtics is doing a phenomenal job—at least in pumping me up.
- The Celtics need to fix their pick-and-roll defense. Any time Chris Copeland is scoring 20-plus points, you know that it's not because he's "that good."
- It's weird that Doc Rivers and Paul Pierce have the same birthday; it's even weirder that Pierce has outgrown his number at 35. That seemed so far away when he first donned No. 34.
- Speaking of age, why is it that Pablo Prigioni is just making the league now at the age of 35? That's when most guys hang 'em up for good and he's just getting started. He's like the ultra-Brandon Weeden of the NBA.
- I must say, the "I hope I make the team" squad vastly exceeded my expectations in closing the game. Although, they still did lose it.
- Personally, I would have been fine with the game ending in a tie, and I know I'm not the only one. Do we really need overtime to find out which scrubs can play better for five minutes?
- That being said, that time was big for those players trying to make the team, especially Micah Downs, who made some good plays down the stretch.
- Is it just me or did it look like John Shurna won a contest and got to suit up for the Knicks? He just didn't look NBA-esque and neither did his goose-egg stat line.
- To end with a completely random thought: it's a really good thing the NBA doesn't have replacement officials. That would work out worse than it did in the NFL. Trust me.
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