To paraphrase Allen Iverson “Preseason... we talkin bout preseason... not a real game but preseason.” That is what we are relegated to; fawning about the preseason because of last year's shortened season and even shorter preseason.
It affected the Celtics the most, leaving them running on fumes and little to no help from their bench. A bench who found itself persona non grata the deeper Boston got into the playoffs. Doc was saddled with rookies who didn't have a clue in the beginning of the season and showed regression toward the end. Therefore, it was imperative that Danny Ainge brought in players who understood the game below the rim and not just play above it.
This is the only time of the year you will see the veterans not really care about minutes or being on the floor. It is a time for fringe players to make a case for mop up duty. To cheer their fellow Celtics on to victory.
The Celtics face an onslaught of games beginning with a back-to-back tonight in Philadelphia. This you can be sure off, the vets will barely take their warm-ups off. Brandon Bass will see lots of playing time if only to paint an even clearer picture in Doc’s mind that Jared Sullinger is the starter.
Darko Milicic is a man on a mission. He has seen the light after talking to the team-whisperer, Doc Rivers. Rivers has a way of reaching through the mess that players believe about themselves. I believe that he will win a key game in the Eastern Conference Finals for the Celtics. Remember stars get the glory, but it is role players who win championships.
Dionte Christmas has just about made his way on the team and with more Doc resting his vets, Christmas will see a lot of burn this week.
It comes down to Jamar Smith and Kris Joseph. Joseph seems to have a more rounded game. He displayed a brilliant step-through move in Saturday’s game after garnering a rebound. Smith seems unsure of himself as a distributor and that could be the reason he won’t make the team.
So just like championships are won by players who shine for one game, preseason gives those same role-players the opportunity to earn that moment.