There’s bad basketball and then there’s bad preseason basketball with two teams in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, we got the latter tonight in Delaware, as the Celtics looked overmatched for the majority of the 48 minutes against the universal favorite for the worst team in the NBA this year in Philly.
We’re only three games in, so it’s not fair to overreact too much here to a revamped roster with a new coach and no true experienced centers. There are some takeaways though from these performances and we’ll try to piece a few of those together for tonight.
Jared Sullinger: Another solid effort from the second-year forward who is making a strong case for his insertion in the starting five. A healthy mix of an inside-outside game, combined with one of the few players on the C’s roster willing to bang in the paint and hit the glass gives the C’s their best player on the floor tonight. The rust from offseason surgery is coming off quickly.
Phil Pressey: We’ve been raving about his potential here on CelticsHub since last summer and in back-to-back games he’s shown himself to be a spark off the Celtics bench. With Avery Bradley not really showing himself as capable of running a half court office, the C’s have looked lost without a true point guard at helm. Pressey has plenty to work to do, but he pushed the ball in transition, made smart decisions on the break, and put together some solid work on the defensive end as well. If he keeps things up, he may be making a case to hold down the starting point guard spot before Mr. Rondo returns.
Jeff Green: 28.6 percent shooting through three preseason games. A couple off nights? Maybe. An inability to create for yourself with lots of more attention on you from the opposition. A more likely proposition. Stevens are going to have to get creative in finding open space for Green to operate in without facing double teams.
Courtney Lee: His trade value is going down by the game unfortunately. His funk from last season has carried over thus far.
Kelly Olynyk: Working hard out there, but turning down too many shots right now for my liking, when he’s open from the mid-range. Turning down a 16-footer for a Gerald Wallace open three from the wing isn’t going to be a good decision in the long run.
Gerald Wallace: He’s bringing energy, which he’ll do night in and night out. Unfortunately, Celts don’t have enough of these guys.
Rebounding: It’s going to be an uphill battle each and every night.
Keith Bogans: He left the game with a sprained right thumb and is scheduled for an MRI on it tomorrow. Look for him to sit out tomorrow night’s game against the Knicks. Melo, Ray Felton and Metta World Peace will be sitting out as well for the Knicks.
Much more on Saturday, as the C’s will face off with New York at 7pm up in Manchester, NH.