Last night's 103-102 loss to the New York Knicks was full of positives. Well- the end of the game was. The end of the game saw the Celtics cut a 23 point lead down to 1 in the midst of a 20-4 run to close the four quarter. Many of those sparks came from Celtics new big, Vitor Faverani.
Faverani has 9 points, 3 standing ovations from the Celtics bench, 2 slam dunks and 1 step-back 3-pointer.
Vitor played the vast majority of his minutes in the second and fourth quarters of the game and was impactful in both stints on the court. Seeing him launch threes was jarring to say the least, but it did get the crowd on it's feet! It helps that a few of those distance shots found their way through the rim.
Head coach Brad Stevens was vocal about Vitor's contributions during his post game press conference:
"He’s getting more comfortable. He also has a little bit of a language barrier, but he runs what we want to run out of timeouts, he doesn’t have any problem translating what we’re trying to do on the court.”
“I think Vitor’s a good player. He’s got good feel. You can run a lot of stuff to him,” said Stevens. “He’s a better shooter than he’s shooting right now. I think he’s got a pretty good ceiling, and he’s the guy on our roster that’s a true center per se. He’s a guy that has to play, I think, as we move forward.”
If this preseason game against New York was a true indicator, Faverani will hulk smash his way into this line up faster than expected.
“I don’t have time for (any celebrations) on the court,” he said. “Because I need to make the dunk, then get back on defense. But I’m very, very happy. Because the dunks can help my teammates. I can show the coach I can play in the NBA. I’m very happy.”
“I think just know my job. I prefer the coach talk about my game,” Faverani said. “I try to do my best.”
As soon as I found out this guy's nickname was El Hombre Indestructible aka The Indestructible Man, I was sold. As soon as I saw him start flushing one handed lefty dunks, I started setting aside money for a Vitor jersey.
The Celtics & Vitor Faverani will next play the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday October 11th.