Second Unit leads Celtics to victory over Nets 96-92
When your starting center gets 3 fouls in the first 4 minutes and doesn't get taken out of the game you know it's preseason. The Celtics squeaked out a victory against the Nets in New Jersey behind a solid effort from their second unit. The final score really doesn't matter in preseason. It's all about trying out different lineups and getting your bench players playing time in big moments. Both of these were accomplished tonight.
Nate Robinson, Delonte West, and Big Baby led the way for the second unit with a combined 49 points. Marquis Daniels played solid basketball as well and hit the game deciding three. Maybe there is hope for him yet.
This second unit has got to be one of the best offensive second units in the league, and this was without Jermaine O'Neal. Can you name a better scoring bench trio than Nate, Big Baby, and Delonte? Sure, we don't have a defensive stopper like TA anymore, but the offensive firepower is there.
Erden continues to impress as well. He's got an old school type of game that McHale would appreciate. I would've liked to see a little more of Harangody and Wafer tonight as I think both of them can really play. For the Nets, Brook Lopez is a certified beast and is going to be a superstar. He had 23 points including 13-15 from the free throw line. Other than Lopez the Nets have a bunch of role players. Favors is going to be a good player in year or two but he's raw right now. Devin Harris reminds me of one of the players from Space Jam that lost his talent. I'm really not sure what happened to that guy. He's not a bad player by any means, but I thought he was going to be special.
Look, you're not going to have Stephan Lasme(Umass's own!) and Mario West out there at crunch time unless the whole team comes down with mono or something. That's why the end result really doesn't matter in preseason. The Celtics are a better team than last year but they have to be to contend. Their bench is better. The Big 3 is as good as ever and Garnett looks like he has an extra hop in his step(for now). Shaq looks a little slow but is going to have to be accounted for in the block. I was just really impressed with what I saw tonight and look forward to the rest of the preseason.