Offense was hard to find at the Garden tonight, as the C’s rounded out their preseason slate with an undefeated record, beating the hapless Raptors 81-73 at TD Garden. A few quick odds and ends before complete reaction from the players and Doc later in the evening.
Rajon Rondo (17 points, 6 assists in 22 minutes) was a man on a mission tonight, particularly early on, as he posted 10 points and 2 assists in the first quarter, including a couple pretty mid-range jumpers. As the Raptors continued to give that shot to him, he took it, but it was encouraging to see Rondo assert himself and continue to show no ill effects of the ankle injury.
Jermaine O’Neal (0 points, 4 blocks in 11 minutes) headed to the locker room early in the second half, as sitting out the majority of the first half after taking a hard fall at the end of the first quarter. No indication if it was an injury, or just an early shower for J.O. but this is something to keep an eye on. Doc noted postgame the early exit to the locker room was to get a massage. Classic JO.
The beneficiary of J.O.’s absence was Greg Steimsma, (7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks) who got extended run throughout the entire first half and won over the Garden crowd with solid play on both sides of the floor. The guy is clearly rough around the edges, but runs well for a big, defends the basket and even had a nifty little left-handed hook. He certainly earned himself a roster spot and perhaps more after this one.
Brandon Bass (12 points on 4/5 shooting) looked very solid as well off the bench, and E’Twaun Moore (11 points) looks to be ahead of Avery Bradley in the battle for minutes at the two spot off the bench, although that battle is very much ongoing. The offense itself is in need of a lot of work, especially with the second unit, but with just two preseason games and two weeks of training camp into things, that’s to be expected. It still remains a daunting task with opening day on the horizon a mere 72+ hours from now.
Also in case you were wondering, Michael Sweetney—by far–got the biggest cheers of the night whenever he touched the ball. The Garden also erupted when he put in a layup. I love Boston fans.