Look, I applaud the NBA for making an effort to take us inside practice. The fact that people from all over the world can watch the team scrimmage is a great thing. Celtics.com has been posting clips from practices, extended interiews with players—really good stuff.
But if you’re going to promote a Celtics scrimmage on NBA.com, for the love of Cedric Maxwell, LET US WATCH THE DAMN GAME. I honestly have no idea what the people who put this together were thinking, unless there is some agreement with the team not to broadcast more than a certain amount of game footage. Because in 30 minutes of playing time, we may have seen about five minutes of basketball action. We saw extended close-ups of Ray Allen on the bench. At one point, we saw Brian Scalabrine’s bare stomach as he switched jerseys.
But most of all, we saw Andre Aldridge and Cedric Maxwell sitting and talking about the team while the GAME WAS GOING ON OFF CAMERA. They talked about Paul Pierce’s place in Celtics history (while the camera focused on Pierce chilling on the bench), about KG’s injury and about the Bulls-Celtics series last year. Any Celtics fan making the effort to watch practice (PRACTICE!) on a Saturday night already knows the Celtics-Bulls series was epic. We don’t need to see clips of it WHILE THE SCRIMMAGE IS GOING ON. We want to watch Lester Hudson, not Derrick Rose.
It wasn’t a complete waste of time. But it should have been a much, much better viewing experience, and I have no idea why it wasn’t.
Some bullet point thoughts after the jump.
• Everyone is saying KG is fine. The knee is fine, Danny and Doc said in interviews after the scrimmage. There is nothing wrong with his knee. Both Rivers and Ainge admitted KG is limping now and then, but both explained it away. Ainge said it’s just a symptom of KG’s muscles getting reacquainted with basketball, and Doc chalked it up to some shin problems KG is having. But everyone says the knee is OK.
I noticed a little limping in the limited footage of KG playing. But he seemed active. He jumped out on screen-rolls to challenge guards and he roamed around the baseline at times. He spent most of his time matched up against ‘Sheed, and he kept ‘Sheed in check.
He looks decent. But he has a long way to go to get back to being KG. But we knew that.
• Rasheed Wallace wearing sweat pants made me laugh.
• Mike Sweetney is not in shape. I mean really not in shape.
• I think I saw Sheldon Williams make an 18-foot jump shoot. I think. I’m not sure. A few players chuckled after it went in, which would be an appropriate reaction, except it wasn’t clear what exactly they were chuckling about.
• Kendrick Perkins looks quicker and leaner.
• But Big Baby’s appearance has changed the most. He looks like he’s in great shape.
• Ainge is saying nice things about Rondo. He said Rondo has had the best camp of anyone so far, and that he is “coachable.” The word choice is intentional and a good sign.
• Some interesting match-ups: Tony Allen spent some time guarding Rondo. Scalabrine checked Pierce, perhaps evidence that Doc is indeed committed to trying Scal at the three spot with various iterations of the second unit.
• I think we are going to like Marquis Daniels. He ran the point early in the scrimmage with the second unit, and he looked comfortable. He found House coming around a curl early, and he had a nice drive from the left wing right at KG under the basket. He missed the contested lay-in, but he looked explosive in rising over KG for a decent look.
That’s it for now. Time for an adult beverage or two.