A young opponent on the second night of a back to back….these are the games that will test the C’s this ye……wait I need to save that intro for later in the year, we’re still in the preseason.
Nonetheless this one was worth watching as Boston, despite digging an early hole thanks to a lackluster starting effort and the Brook Lopez show (13 first quarter points), the C’s bench came back with a terrific second frame, leading them to the win.
They picked up the slack for those 12 minutes with a monster 38 point 2nd quarter, giving them the halftime lead which the C’s held onto at the end as Marquis Daniels hit a clutch corner 3 with under a minute left, helping Boston escape with the 4 point victory.
The entire bench was the story tonight and it started with Glen Davis delivering his second straight terrific performance of the preseason. 20 points, 10 free throw attempts, 5 boards, 2 steals, 1 block and a charge taken for good measure.
The guy has been arguably the best performer of the preseason, mixing once again his inside and outside game to perfection while being just relentless around the bucket. He will have too much competition on his team to contend for a sixth man award this year, but he just may be the go-to guy for this second unit all year long.
If Baby was the player of the night though, Delonte West and Nate Robinson were nipping at his heels for that honor. West (12 points, 6 boards, 3 assists in 19 minutes) continues to prove he may make the biggest impact out of anyone the C’s added this offseason, looking incredibly comfortable at a shooter and facilitator in the C’s offense he has rejoined after three years elsewhere.
Whether it was setting up Baby for easy looks around the hoop, making the extra pass or burying the transition 3, D West looks like a very motivated man and will likely be the first guy off the bench for Doc this year once he serves his suspension.
Meanwhile, Nate continues to impress me with his distribution skills (5 assists, just 1 turnover) showing he’s taken a liking to his shared point guard duties with Delonte off the bench.
The offensively aggressive Nate also made an appearance this evening, that resulted in an ugly shooting line (3 of 11) he also led the team with 11 free throw attempts that allowed him to help carry the third stringers down the stretch.
* Great to see a strong game attacking the bucket by Marquis Daniels. He’s got shooters surrounding him now on the second unit, so he should have the space to operate in the paint.
* If you need an argument against Shaq starting, just re-watch the first four minutes of this game as The Diesel picked up three fouls attempting to guard Brook Lopez, sending him to the line endlessly. Lopez is probably one of the best offensive centers in the game right now, but Shaq had no chance against him. Let him beat up on the second line centers of the world.
* Semih Erden fouled out in 27 minutes. Not a terrible performance, but held his own out there with the starting five.
* C’s offense was really ugly early on in this contest when they tried to run it through Shaq and KG who missed countless easy buckets. Things picked up at the start of the 3rd when Ray and Paul got more involved but KG really had an off shooting night. Shaq had some powerful post moves down low as well in the second half.
* Paul Pierce continues to have an extra pop in his step this year, attacking the hoop, diving on the floor for loose balls, hitting the glass. I like the attitude, especially for the second preseason game of the year.
* The starters wanted to sleepwalk through this one, but the bench came in and turned it up a notch. The momentum carried over. The depth on this team will make everyone, even the starters at times have to work hard to earn their minutes.
* Von Wafer really is making it hard on himself, taking no shots and earning a T for good measure in just 9 minutes of action. Luckily for him, the other fringe guys had uneventful nights as well.
* Luke Harangody has yet to show me something besides hustle. We should have just kept Scal if we needed that.
* Best moment of the night: KG arguing with Doc after getting pulled out of the game early in the 2nd half…..then proceeding to playfully punch trainer Eddie Lacerte as Doc explained his minute count was at it’s limit.
That’s all for now, Brendan will have you covered for tomorrow morning with some video of this one.