The Celtics played their second game of the preseason by hosting the New York Knicks in a bizarre game that somehow came down to the last seconds. They suffered a loss 102-103 after making a huge comeback effort in the 4th but falling just short.
I can’t even describe what happened in decent text format. I’ll go straight to notes from the game.
– Stevens switched up the starting lineup from last game, opting for Bradley, Lee, Wallace, Bass and Sullinger (yes, no Jeff Green!). Early on, Jared and Wallace were the ones providing the scoring. Sullinger might have fallen in love with perimeter shooting a little too much in this game, though.
– The charge taking that was so good in the first game carried over right to this game. Wallace stood out with two or three taken all by himself. Speaking of Wallace, He looked pretty good tonight as well, scoring 10 points in 16 minutes. For comparison, Green scored 10 in 21 minutes.
– Phil Pressey finally found his way on the court. With no Jordan Crawford, he also got a lot of time at the point and looked fairly competent. Of course, there were a few mistakes rookies make like getting trapped and not initiating the offense in time, but overall the little dude did a fine job, given the circumstances. He was instrumental to starting the circus comeback late in the fourth and finished with 7 assists. Good show for Phil.
– VITOR FAVERANI. In the first half, everything was Vitor. He made a loud lefty dunk off the pick and roll, swished a three off the dribble and then dunked some more, smashing it over Andrea Bargnani on the fastbreak. Meanwhile, the entire Celtics Twitter community was going berzerk. Then, during the comeback, he took a three that would have taken the world into nuclear winter had he made it, then followed that up with a loud dunk to bring the Celtics within 1.
“To the Vitor go the spoils.”
– Courtney Lee and Jeff Green each served up another lackluster game. Lee was just pretty much invisible the entire game and didn’t do anything worth noting. Green did some scoring but it was not all that impressive because we expect him to lead the team in that category now. Still, it’s preseason – I wouldn’t worry much, at least about Jeff. It would be nice if Courtney showed something, though.
– The game was pretty close throughout the first half. In the second half, however, the C’s stopped in their tracks and every Knick channeled their inner JR Smith, particularly Iman Shumpert, the man who formerly was called Ron Artest and Tim Hardaway, Jr. That put the game out of reach fairly quickly. Or so it seemed.
– The rebounding was much better today. After putting up a stinking effort in that department on Monday, the C’s were just about even with the Knicks with 36 rebounds corralled. The Knicks finished with 34.
– MarShon Brooks got a chance to play a lot more minutes than last game. He seemed a little tentative to go 1-on-1 on offense, but looked alright in the time he was on the court. His defense is suspect, though.
– Now about the comeback. Get this. About midway through the fourth, Stevens turned on preseason experiment mode, subbing in the training camp invites. Chris Babb got into the game and immediately made a three, one of four total (he was 4/5 from three). DeShawn Sims also got some playing time, subbing in a few minutes after that. Together, the formidable unit of Pressey, Brooks, Babb, Sims and Faverani somehow actually made a comeback effort late in the fourth to cut a 23-point deficit down to just 6 with just under 3 minutes to play, following it up with an immediate steal & layup and another made three by Babb, ending up just down 3 with under a minute to go and with the ball in their possession. That ended up as a loud Vitor dunk (!!!). The Celtics got the stop and Phil Pressey immediately took it to the bucket to give the Celtics the lead with 22.4 seconds to go. Hardaway, however, responded with a make with 8.2 left, giving the C’s a shot at a gamewinner, but they couldn’t capitalize. Try to logically understand what you just read.
This entire game was just bizarre and everything you’d want out of a preseason game in early October. Suffice it to say, it is best recapped by this video:
C’s return to the court on Friday at 7:00 PM ET when they visit the tankalicious Philadelphia 76ers.