Celtics Preseason: Social Breakdown

It was a tough one for the Celtics tonight as the Stevens Era officially began with a preseason loss to the Toronto Raptors 97-89.

Tell 'em Neil... Will... Whoever. It's going to be fine. Breathe in. Cool out.

While the final score didn't fall Boston's way, there were flashes of brilliance (stretch!) tonight. They played like it was a preseason game. They played like they were getting their line ups worked out. They played exactly how we knew they would.

While no one lit the rim on fire, every member of the Celtics looked healthy and ready to go- and after 5 years of injuries plaguing this team, that is something to hang our preseason hat on.

The game started... differently.

Turns out it was actually an Eminem song, but regardless, it was jarring to hear the theme from A Night at the Roxbury as the beat for Lil Weezy. Weirdness aside, seeing Avery Bradley in a ceremonial leadership role was great. As is tradition, the arena cameras found the squad getting amped up in the tunnel. Seeing Avery lead the charge gave the crowd the right kind of chills. Bradley, in his third season in the league is a veteran on this team. We are YOUNG.

I've said it before and I'll say it again- the only bad part about seeing a live Celtics game is that I get all the Tommy quotes second hand. Thank you, Twitter, for being invented so we can follow these 140 character gems and Tommy Points.

This starting five is probably going to look very familiar by the time the regular season starts. All night, Stevens went with a relatively small line up. This is going to force the team to be fast, which is a good thing. We have young legs for days.

Absolutely never thought I'd tweet this.

Absolutely never thought A. Sherrod Blakely would tweet this.

The reception the t-shirt promotion got was insane. By the reaction, you would have thought that the second line included two Wahlbergs.

#45 is going to play himself right into the hearts of Celtics fans this season. It's game one of the preseason and he was already crashing the boards, the stands for loose balls, and all over the floor. He plays like he is made out of nerf. It is going to be fun to watch... until it's horrifying to watch.

A loss is a loss, and in the preseason, every team is going to have them. What is reassuring is that no one on the Celtics is treating this as preseason. This team wants to win. The desire in person is palpable.

And no one will ever get sick of this. Not playing any time soon, and Rondo is out there with his team dressed to work.

Sullinger, while admittedly is not yet in game shape, is contributing nonetheless. I watched every second of Celtics basketball last year and Sullinger is playing up to where he was last year. Now that his back is healthy and he's getting into game shape, #7 is going to contribute in a big BIG way. Easily the best moment of the game was watching Sullinger block all of Toronto's post whistle shots. No easy baskets in Boston... ever. Shout out to KG.

As usual, Tommy gets the last word and it is an important one. Olynyk is going to be a beast. You are going to love Vitor. Sullinger is going to continue to impress. Crash 'n' the Brooklyn/Boston Boys are going to give it everything they've got. We've got plenty of time to get this one back.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor.