A few notes from Tuesday night’s tilt in the Garden as the Celtics wrap up their preseason. Celtics Hub’s very own Zach Lowe attended the game in person at MSG so be sure to check back for a live perspective of the nights’ festivities.
Marquis Daniels: Doc has been raving about Quisy all preseason long, yet we had only seen glimpses of Daniels’ offensive abilities in the early going as he deferred to his offensive benchmates on many occasions.
Tonight however, we saw the slashing Marquis in action, taking advantage of mismatches all night long with Nate Robinson and company to the tune of 17 points on 7/11 shooting. It was nice to see him take the scoring charge for the 2nd unit when the team was having an off night shooting from the outside.
Rajon Rondo: Rondo, like Daniels took advantage of the mismatches tonight against the likes of Jared Jeffries, as he repeatedly took the ball to the basket and finished with great efficiency against the 6’11” forward. This matchup had caused Rondo some problems last year at the Garden, so I was glad to see the guard appear undaunted while facing the taller Jeffries, and instead use his speed advantage against him. Rondo also distributed the ball quite nicely with 7 assists, rewarding KG and company for running the floor.
J.R. Giddens’ rebounding and defense: Giddens did a decent job containing Nate Robinson in the closing minutes of the game who had burned the C’s all night with his quick penetration. Giddens also was active on the glass in his crunch time minutes earning 5 rebounds (4 offensive) in his 8 minutes of floor time. There may be a spot for him yet on the active roster, against athletic teams like the Knicks. There is still a lot of work to be done for Giddens however, which leads me to the bad…..after the jump
J.R Giddens finishing skills: I know it was just one game, but JR was channeling TA out there in the 4th quarter with his inability to put the ball in the basket from point blank range. Hopefully it was nerves in a close game, and not a sign of things to come.
Rasheed Wallace: An ugly night shooting the ball for Sheed going 3 of 10 from the field which caps off a preseason where he shot 36% overall through five games. His numbers from deep are a bit more tolerable at 33% from downtown.
It’s a small sample size I know, but Wallace will have the tendency to frustrate C’s fans on many nights this year, as it appears he will be given the green light to shoot despite his deteriorating skills. Clearly, the pros of his range and overall play will far outweigh the cons for the big man, some nights it just won’t seem that way. This was one of those nights.
Celtics’ Defense: Again it should be noted it was a preseason game, but the Knicks did whatever they want against the C’s offensively for the majority of this contest. The Knicks couldn’t throw a grape in the ocean, in first 6 minutes, but turned it on from there. A combination of sharp shooters and athletic guards will give this team trouble this year as the C’s looked more vulnerable tonight than they had all preseason.
Turnovers: Same old story here with 17 for the Green on the evening, but Perk has an especially miserable night with 6 turnovers in only 21 minutes. Woof.
Overall, the Knicks just wanted this one a bit more at the end, as they stayed with their starters all 4th quarter. The C’s 2nd team actually catapulted a comeback down 8, midway through the 4th but a couple missed bunnies/turnovers ended that.
The Knicks will be a thin team this year, but could challenge for a playoff spot if they stay healthy and Dario Gallinari continues to develop. Like last year, they will definitely be fun to watch run up and down.
For now, the C’s starters get some rest tomorrow night in Colombus while Boston fans are likely to get an extended look at Lester Hudson, Giddens but not Michael Sweetney who was sent back to Boston with the flu, according to Chris Sheridan, likely ending any chance he had of making this roster. Sorry B Jacks.