A loss to a non-NBA team in the opener?!? Where’s the panic button?
Calm down, folks. I’m just having some fun here. There will be plenty of things to worry about this year, but a loss in an overseas exhibition game to a talented Turkish squad is not one of them However, there were quite a few lessons learned and judgments made today after Boston dropped a 97-91 affair to Team Fenerbahce.
What can we take out of this one? A few thoughts on the first 48 minutes from a revamped C’s roster:
Jared Sullinger – A lot of folks will point to Jeff Green’s performance as the standout on the C’s bench in defeat, but I’m going to give the nod to Sullinger here. First off, he looks to be at least 10 pounds slimmer than he was in Vegas. While he was undersized against a fairly big Turkish front line, Sullinger was all over the glass with eight rebounds (five offensive), all while displaying a soft touch around the basket with a team-high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting. While Green’s role is set, Sullinger will be fighting for minutes with Chris Wilcox and Darko Milicic this preseason. The early returns are that he’ll see plenty at the backup four and that’s a good thing.
Jeff Green – Captained a fourth quarter comeback that never fully materialized for the second unit, but Green looked good doing it, with plenty of strong takes to the basket that had Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine singing his praises and comparing him to James Worthy. A bit of a stretch? You bet. 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting is just what the doctor ordered for a guy that will have plenty of pressure on him this year to be a force off the bench.
Darko — He rebounds, he passes well, and he doesn’t do much else, but Doc Rivers will take that out of a big. His pick and roll defense needs plenty of work though, but it’s early and he’s willing to kill people out there on the court, so he’ll learn it. The volleyball tap out rebound from his butt would have got him a Tommy point if Heinsohn made the trip!
Starters - Plenty to like shooting-wise but also plenty of rust (combined for 15 turnovers in limited minutes). Rondo looked in midseason form with his ability to get out in transition and he got to the line with regularity, hitting 6-of-6 free throws.
Jason Terry – 3-of-3 from downtown. What’s not to like?
Fab Melo – Airballed a layup amongst other things…..he should be looking for condos in Portland, since he’ll be spending plenty of time up there for the first couple months of the season.
That’s about it for now. We saw plenty of familiar problems (rebounding, turnovers) and some not so familiar problems (defense, rotations) but in a first preseason game, the latter of those aren’t issues at all. C’s are back at it Sunday afternoon, and we’ll have plenty more in-between as the C’s 2012-13 season is off and running.
In the meantime, sound off in the comments. Who did you like (and not like) out there today?