The Celtics ended their 2012 NBA Preseason with a resounding loss to the Sixers. The best part of tonight: the next game the Celtics will play will be meaningful. That means we won’t see Micah Downs or Rob Kurz and we will see Jason Terry and big minutes of the starters. All of the Celtics rotation players played very well so it’s not hard to imagine a better outcome when everyone’s playing regular minutes. The Celtics also evaluated the preseason on a play-by-play basis, ignoring the scoreboard on many occasions. It’s hard to know whether or not the Celtics would have run specific plays if anything real would have been on the line.
The second best thing about tonight: Jeff Green’s block shots and dunks.
Here’s the less awesome of Green’s two power dunks:
And here’s the less awesome of Green’s two blocks:
The dunk in the video was great but it was more a product of Lavoy Allen and Arnett Moultrie getting caught up in transition and out of position to protect the rim. His other power dunk involved going one-on-one, driving baseline and reverse dunking with authority. The way Green was able to power past his defender and create his own shot is what made the second dunk far more impressive. Green is going to be relied on to provide an offensive spark off the bench at times so any assertiveness is a welcomed sign.
Just like his dunks, Green’s other block was more impressive than the one shown in the video above. The block came earlier in the game when he two-handed roofed a Spencer Hawes offering into the backboard. During the play, Green was outnumbered on a Sixers’ fast break. What should have been an easy bucket for the Sixers turned into a shining moment for Green. The block was nice, but the effort was even better. Green never gave up on the play and it resulted in the prevention of a fastbreak bucket. Defense isn’t exactly Green’s calling card but his athleticism inspires hope that he could be an excellent team and one-on-one defender. Hopefully his play tonight starts a trend.
While I was more impressed with Green’s defense, it appears Doc Rivers noticed Green’s offense and how he’s fitting in with the rest of the team:
“Well I just think he’s more aggressive, obviously. He’s comfortable in his game. He understands how to score, how he can score through our offense. You know, the other part – he’s happy, honestly. The guys like him, he likes them, he’s comfortable here now. I think last year even though he didn’t play it probably did a world of good for him just being around the guys, and they accepted him. I think all that helped him. And he’s got a chance to be just terrific.”
It’s almost comical how Rivers openly acknowledges the awkwardness that ensued after the Perkins for Green swap. It appears as though Green was able to show his teammates what type of person he is by spending his rehab time with the team despite not having a contract. I can only imagine that kind of dedication went a long in building bridges with the Celtics’ vets.
Green is only one of the many storylines we’ll watch unfold this season and I can’t wait for it to get going.