What a nice way for Brad Stevens to get his first win in the NBA. A 30 point rout of the Knicks is a pleasant sight, especially it being on the second night of a back-to-back. The best part of tonight’s win was the effort put out there by each and every Celtic while playing team ball.
Though its important to notice that Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and Metta World Peace didn’t play, this performance was still encouraging for the Celtics coaching staff and fans. Everyone played their role tonight, leading to nice balanced scoring and eventually the large margin win.
Some pointers after the game:
- The Celtics finally started the way they wanted to, getting up 10-0 quickly. The starting lineup of Crawford, Bradley, Green, Bass, and Sullinger worked really well offensively. They moved the ball around and everyone scored early. All of them but Bass had made 3 pointers by the 6 minute mark of the first quarter and the Celtics were up 18-4 by then.
- Defensive rotations were on point today. While Ike Diogu killed the Celtics with his bulk – scoring a game high 19 points – the Celtics were playing nice rotations when guards penetrated. Crawford was especially surprising in that area as he helped on the perimeter while his point guard match-up was just standing around. Sullinger and Bass clicked defensively helping one another with Bargnani and Powell early, not letting them get comfortable on offense.
- Talking about Bass, his defense on Bargnani was pretty awesome. He displayed the same abilities that made Doc put him on LeBron and Carmelo last season. He moved his feet well and didn’t bite on the up-fakes. Bass even handled Shumpert very well in a possesion during the second quarter.
- Avery’s shooting stroke looked real nice today translating in 13 PTS shooting 60% from the field. When he limits himself to being an SG he truly succeeds with his shot. Hopefully Brad is seeing that.
- Pressey once again looked as a solid NBA player. His passing and demeanor offensively were nice, but what really caught my attention was his defense. Most would think his size hurts him on that end but as of now he’s been surprisingly using it to his advantage. He slips by screens easily and rips the ball off his opponents by simply staying in a low position. It will be interesting to see how he does with the Derrick Rose’s, Tony Parker’s and Kyrie Irving’s of the league.
- Sullinger looked again as the team’s best player. His stats won’t wow you but he’s always making the right play out there. His game high +25 in just 22 minutes speaks volumes about his importance for the team.
- Olynyk had his best game yet. He scored a team high 15 points on a more than efficient 5-6 shooting. He was sometimes hesitant with his shot, but when he wasn’t thinking he drilled them with ease. He also had a nice couple of post moves.
- MarShon Brooks played most of his minutes by the end of the game but his performance was encouraging. He scored 13 PTS in 15 minutes shooting 80% from the field and 5-6 from the line. He proved he’s a scorer, but Crawford still looks like the better player. Lots of time left in the preseason and this performance only helps Brooks as he tries to get more playing time.
- I can’t let this recap slip by without mentioning the tedious delay of game calls. The refs probably called 7 or 8 of those tonight which had fans booing and booing. Apparently its a point of emphasis that an offensive player can’t touch the ball after a made basket and both teams got called for it a whole lot. Thie sdelay of game calls will probably stop sooner rather than later as all they do is actually delay the game a ton more. Oh, the irony.
- Finally, to not tire you much, Vitor looked serviceable again. He played physical with Ike Diogu – who was killing the C’s with physicality early – and showed a knack for the ball rebounding and blocking shots. He had one 3 point attempt that went in and out. We’ll probably be seeing more of that.
That’s it for tonight. Brad Stevens can finally have a good night’s sleep as his team played very well to go for the 30 point win. There are still plenty of things to add and fix before the season, but a win like this can only be encouraging for the coach.
Still, don’t doubt that he’s currently watching tape of the game.
See y’all Tuesday to face Paulie, KG, and the Brooklyn Nets.