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Stiemsma’d…Again! Celtics 81, Raptors 73

 

ESPN Box ScoreRaptors RepublicRaptors HQ

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.

  • ripsonics

    most impressive guys HAVE to be moore and bass – just based on their consistency. Yes it was probably an easy opponent in the raptors, but bass had great lines in back to back games, and moore is showing confidence, and making shots..

    Big I tell you… BIG!

    Go C's

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    Still EN-RAPTOR-ED?

    Can you imagine how Paul Pierce must feel?
    The season hasn't started, he's bothered by that heel.
    No appearance tonight, nor Sunday, Tuesday, too
    We'll see what Pavlovic and Marquis can do.

    Does anyone know what DMarsh did mean
    He said we could still trade Rondo by March Fifteen?
    (A deal with some "warm" teams,  he wouldn't tell,
    Inspiration for Rondo to keep playing well).

    KG  "banged his head," then waved at the crowd,
    The cheers at The Garden were so very loud.
    Cs started on fire, there were blocks all around,
    Got to love the energy they seem to have found!

    The plan for KG is five, five, five, 
    Minutes, that is, so he can survive!
    66 games in a hundred twenty-four days,
    Doc will mix his rotations in effective ways.

    Q2 sees Stiemsma early, with KG on the floor,
    Bradley's shots will soon fall, his defense means more.
    Ray did his usual, quick turn and shoot,
    We had the pleasure of KG's straightaway to boot.

    Stiemsma's rebounding, scoring, getting a rhythm, 
    Looks like the Cs will want to stay with him.
    Preseason Game One he had the winning shot,
    Tonight he is showing us what more he's got.

    Raptors gathered themselves, then a steal by Bass, 
    Eventually  he'll handle Rondo's bounce pass.
    The Cs closed out the half, Rondo had the ball,
    Fifteen points, made free throws, he answered the call.

    KG, Rondo, JO, Pavlovic and Ray,
    Started off the second half this way.
    JO blocking with his left hand and then his right,
    He is showing he's committed and ready to fight!

    Halfway thru Q3 things got rocky,
    Raptors started to score and they got cocky.
    Many mistakes by the new guys, hard for them to gell,
    It will take time and experience for them to play well.

    Look at the Cs' bench, a glorious sight to see,
    A guy shouting about Defense–it was KG!
    At the end of Q3 the Cs went on a run, 
    And started to look like they were having fun.

    Q4 Bradley beat the shot clock, was able to score, 
    His defense was awesome, he was all over the floor.
    Great experience for the bench, against each Raptor starter,
    They can measure their progress and will have to work harder.

    DeRozan fouled Bradley because he stole the ball,
    Then stepped over him–no taunting call?
    Sweetney came in, great offense has he, 
    Doc's trying all combos to see what will be.

    Sweetney scored, wild cheering from the crowd,
    But the Cs on the bench–they clapped most loud.
    Lots of steals and energy, the new guys got it done, 
    Whether he admits it, Doc must be glad we won!

    The season is soon starting, I am so glad,
    "I AM A CELTIC," don't you love the new ad?

    lovemyceltics.blogspot.com

    • Batman

      You're back!
      I've missed your poems

      • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

        Thanks! Excited to start the season!

  • I_Love_Green

    GREG! Greg Stiemsma!!

  • I_Love_Green

    His name is Greg!! Not Chris!!

  • red

    I think bradley has been the most impressive i believe he had 3 steal and his ball pressure led to 3 more and he completely frustrated Derozan that`s what lead to the cheap move when derozen step over him we need this type of defense against miami i think bradley has a chance to be on the sophomore team and all nba defense second team this year he`s that good and if his shot starts falling his confidence will grow

    • The Wilfork Way

      They better start to drop, all his shots are essentially turn overs. 1-10 last night and a 3

    • gocelts

      you are out of your mind with all nba second team. he looks awful out there and will not seen early enough time for consideration

  • W2.

    Couple things. Keep Greg. I felt that way after game one and was pleased to see him get some run and make the decision makers pause. Gilbert Brown should be cut. Avery has played better than people give him credit for (defense primarily). I like Quis better with the first group. Wilcox needs to assert himself a bit more. I am very excited for the season and believe the Celtics are the third best team in the East…..though NY makes me nervous.

  • Brian

    Was that Mike Sweetney or Rerun out there last night?

  • CG12

    It was good to see AB playing assertively last night. The shots weren't falling, but they looked like they might have on a different night.

    Two of the more interesting pre-season plot lines are the position battles between Moore and AB and between Quisy and Pavlovic. There are only so many minutes in a game, so really only one guy can get the bulk of the back-up minutes at each spot. The compressed season will certainly mean that Doc will go deeper into the bench on a game-to-game basis (i.e., 11 or 12 guys getting minutes most every night) and injuries will give guys a shot to play much heavier minutes on occasion, but the top 10 will get most of the minutes most of the time.

  • tebucky

    I did not appreciate the sarcastic applause to Sweetney and was in fact embarassed by it. Disagree whole-heartedly.

    • gocelts

      lol who invited this guy?

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