Celtics Lose Atlantic Division Tune Up in a Rout 107-75
It is hard to put much stock into any of these preseason games. A Celtics team without Kevin Garnett is rough to watch, but Bynum sat for the opposition. The Celtics were sloppy all game, only showing any semblance of energy and cohesiveness at the beginning of 1st quarter Pierce played limited minutes and looked solid while Doc released the depth of the preseason roster playing the likes of Melo, Kurz, Downs and Jamar Smith extended minutes towards the end of the game. It got ugly and the game turned into a real laugher by the start of the 4th, or a Maine Red Claws game, depending on how you look at it.
Pick and Roll defense continues to be an issue. Wait for Garnett to start upping his minutes before freaking out about the C's inability to stop the P&R in the preseason, but it is something to monitor as we barrel toward the Heat and the opener in under 2.5 weeks.
Amazingly after last season, the Celtics seem to have a plethora of options in the frontcourt right now. Bass, Millicic, Sullinger, Collins and Green form a variety of appealing options to slide next to Garnett in any given lineup. Add in Lee's ability to guard multiple spots and Rivers will have a lot of flexibility if this roster can stay relatively healthy.
Consider me firmly in the Jared Sullinger Should Start Camp. Some of this has to do with the fact that I think Bass is a 20-22 minute per game player and a great boost to the bench (any bench) unit as a scorer, but Sully just knows where to be and how to play. Great hands, good skill, smart looking kid.
Coupled with the last point, Bass looks great playing with Terry and Green in the second unit. He spaces the floor and lets Green take smaller guys down low. He can also work the pick and pop with terry as one of the 2nd units go-to plays if this alignment remains.
Courtney Lee may be the best Free Safety living in the New England region. Great Pass Break Up on a deep baseball pass destined for an easy Philly hoop in the first quarter. He really looks to play within himself while also showing explosive athleticism from time to time (skying for a rebound among the trees sticks out).
Green continues to look impressive coming off his year and a half away from basketball. Solid mixture of post game and power, looking more comfortable than he has with the Celtics before.
Overall, tough game to watch and not much you can take away from it. As the team begins a stretch of 5 preseason games in 7 days, many veterans will rest but the team needs to play its guys for a couple games to gear up for the opener.