In this series we will be reviewing the last week of games for the Celtics. This season is all about the Process so that will be evaluated here. How did they perform as a team? Who was good individually? All of that answered in Truth On Causeway’s Monday Report.
Team Record: 0-3
Opponents: Toronto (6 pt L), Milwaukee (7 pt L), Detroit (10 pt L)
Best Player: Vitor Faverani (27.4 MIN, 11 PTS, 57.1 FG%, 7.7 REB, 3.3 BLK) From starting just one preseason game to more than solidifying his starting center spot after 3 games, Vitor has been one of the few bright spots of the young season. He came here as a mystery man whose forte was on the offensive end, but he has shown an ability to control the paint, blocking shots and rebounding the ball. He has also been able to effectively score the ball in multiple ways, from the post, pick and rolls, running in transition, and from offensive rebounds. The big Brazilian guy has gone from ‘Please be better than Fab’ to ‘Holy cow this dude is good’ real fast.
Worst Player: Avery Bradley (32.6 MIN, 9.7 PTS, 34.1 FG%, 12.5 3FG%, 3 AST, 4.7 TO, 2 STL) The guy has been playing PG for the majority of his minutes and that is clearly affecting him, but still, Stevens isn’t asking him to be THE point guard. He’s had trouble with super easy passes and has been committing ridiculous turnovers – some that may have cost the team a game. His shooting has been bad as reflected by his percentages, but his assist:turnover ratio is the true concern right now. That has been extremely bad for Avery. One cringes when Avery is handling the ball.
+/- God: Brandon Bass +15. After all, there’s a reason Stevens has insisted on playing him so much. He’s been the leader out there.
+/- Catastrophe: Courtney Lee -41. He hasn’t looked as bad on the court as he was last season, but he hasn’t looked much better either. Stevens is playing him to help on D and with ball-handling.
Rookie Report: If Vitor has been the Celts best player he’s clearly been the best rookie too. Olynyk hasn’t been all that great but a very good game (15 and 8) yesterday against the huge Detroit frontline saves him. My major concern with KO has been his inability to rebound. Too many times he’s had the ball in his hands and hasn’t been able to grab it, and other times he’s been awful at boxing out. He’s looked hesitant at times on offense, but yesterday he showed all he can do. Pressey played just 3 minutes in the Toronto game and has picked up two DNP-CDs since then. With the turnovers piling up for the Celtics he should be getting more playing time soon.
How’s the process?: If you actually do focus on the process, you could say its coming around pretty well. Brad Stevens has had the team playing really well in stretches, proven by the 22 point lead against MIL and the comeback from 15 down yesterday. Vitor Faverani has been a million times more than we expected him to be, Olynyk is sort of finding his ground, Bass has emerged as a leader, and Green already has one 25 point game. You could say all 3 games so far have been winnable but the Celtics lack of chemistry has taken over late in games. Brad Stevens will have to figure out quick what’s his best lineup to close games.
Story of the week: “El Hombre Indestructible”. The big guy has been without a doubt our best player so far. After a great last preseason game in which he started, Celtics fans raised expectations on him. In his first game as a pro he delivered with 13 points and 3 blocks. Then expectations kept rising and he came with an 18 rebound 6 blocks game. Watching him has been a great experience so far. He has amazing hands and is excellent in transition. His dunks can put smiles on our faces during the worst times. Vitor has been a man in the paint and with him being Boston’s only true big man, look for him to keep improving and increase his importance. As a second -not that important- story, we have to talk about the turnovers. They have costed the team maybe two games now and they are getting ridiculous. The lack of a true ball handler is extremely evident, but some turnovers have been like if a 5 year old threw them.
Road Ahead: Memphis (road), Utah (home), Orlando (road), Miami (road).