It was a close game in the first quarter despite Rajon Rondo's brilliant 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the opening frame. Then the Celtics defense kicked in, they held the Italians to 4-of-19 shooting in that second quarter and that was pretty much the story of the game.
Rajon Rondo's 17 ended up tying for the team lead with Jeff Green. Paul Pierce added 14 on 4-of-6 shooting while Jason Terry showed the reason they brought him in to replace Ray Allen - going 3-for-5 behind the arc for 11 points.
That's more like it.
(Here's a guest recap from Celtics Life legend Jenda)
Just days after losing to Fenerbahce, Celtics faced another top
European team in Emporio Armani Milan.
And from the start it was a different game completely. Green team
defended their basket and played true Celtics basketball all around.
Rondo was faster than a lightning, penetrating to the basket and
hitting jumpers in the first. Later we had the opportunity to see more
of Terry at point and he seemed much more confident than in Turkey.
Celtics still tallied 14 turnovers but the game looked less sloppier
than the first preseason game.
From the looks of it I'd say Milano are much weaker opponent than
Fenerbahce but still provided nice test for the Celtics bench. Dionte
Christmas showed up to the task of playing NBA guard with 9 points on
4 of 6 shooting and out of the trio of him, Smith and Joseph fighting
for the spot, he looks like the safest bet so far. Another stellar
performance by Jared Sullinger who scored 9 points and added 7 big
rebounds. Darko had great game defensively with 9 rebounds and 4
blocks, complemented by solid +/- stat. Best scorers for Celtics were
Rondo and Green, both with 17 points in 24 minutes of playing time.
Both played the way Doc needs them to for the team to fulfill the
rising hopes of Celtics nation.
Fab Melo is probably headed to D-League as hinted by Scal, he could be
practicing with Celtics and Red Claws to get the most out of his
talent but he's not quite there yet. With strong performances by
Green, Bass, Milicic and Sullinger, he isn't likely to get minutes on
the current Celtics squad.
Overall this game shows that Celtics have gathered great talent and
are on the way of working out the last issues. It looks like Danny
managed to cure the biggest scares from last season, rebounding and
bench scoring. Hopefully this translates to the regular season.