The Celtics wrapped up their preseason today with a 101-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Their record over the preseason ends at 2-6.
For tonight’s game, Stevens got a bit creative with his starting lineup, modifying what was looking like the 5 man unit to start on opening night. This time around he went with Bradley, Green, Wallace, Olynyk, and Faverani.
Sullinger was out today due to sickness.
On Brooklyn’s end, Williams, Johnson, Pierce, Garnett, and Lopez rested tonight, meaning they had no starters on the court.
Jason Terry, though, made his return to the Garden. He’s still pretty similar to the corpse that played in Boston last season.
The starters weren’t very good to start the game as they quickly fell 7-0 to a team who had no starters on the court. Then ball movement started to come, Faverani blocked shots, rebounded, and hit 3′s and the Celts were right back into it.
When Pressey came in near the end of the first the team once again took a new face. They were running and their tempo and rythm looked much better. Faverani continued his impressive play and the Celtics lead 49-44 at the half.
The rest of the game was up and down and was always close. At the end, Bradley started hitting his free throws, and Teletovic made a 3 to make things interesting, but at the end Olynyk had a beautiful hesitation move to blow by Plumlee and basically win the game.
Some pointers after the game:
- Faverani was excellent. He was scoring the ball with ease, and more importantly, blocking shots and making great defensive rotations. Its important to note that he wasn’t going against any true 7 footer – would have been nice to see him battle Lopez – but his play was very impressive no matter the circumstances. He finished with 15 PTS on 6/9 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds and 6 blocks.
- Olynyk had nice offensive game tonight. He was hitting shots from the outside and had a couple moves showing his great offensive skills. He accompanied that with 6 rebounds, though his defensive rotations weren’t the best tonight.
- Jordan Crawford is quickly regressing to a normal player though he did show his quality passing again on occassion. He’s struggling with his shot.
- Pressey had another good showing, especially in the second, when he was harassing Terry, making beautiful passes in transition, and seeting the guys up for easy baskets. I counted at least 4 times in which Avery and Wallace robbed him assists by missing easy layups. The fourth wasn’t all that good for Pressey as he had 3 turnovers showing how he can get out of control sometimes. The ankle didn’t appear to bother him.
- Gerald Wallace had a very solid stat line, backing up his effort talk. He ended with 14 PTS off hustle and nice cuts, 5/7 shooting, 5 REB and 5 AST.
- Green scared us in the second half when he came out of a drive grimacing and holding his left arm. He went to the bench but the Celtics called it just a bruised forearm (he hit his funny bone). He’ll be fine, no concerns there.
- Bass was the other Celtic with a solid showing. Taking advantage of Sullinger’s absence, Bass was rebounding the ball and he was everywhere. He finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Its probably safe to think he’s well ahead of Humphries (who only played 5 minutes) on the rotation.
- Brooks didn’t play tonight. It’ll be an uphill battle for him to earn minutes.
Anyway, this game concludes the preseason. As surprising as it may sound, this was actually an entertaining game. Faverani and Pressey played a huge role in that. If those two can carve consistent roles, they’ll be fun to watch.
Tomorrow and until the start of the regular season next Wednesday we’ll have a preseason recap, answering questions daily via roundtable.