Preseason Game 1 preview: What to expect when you're not expecting

Tonight the Celtics play their first game with all the pieces in place, expect Rajon Rondo of course.

Fans will get to see how out of shape Jared Sullinger is after back surgery; how Avery Bradley can adjust to play the point after a pretty bad go of it last season; how Kelly Olynyk looks against real NBA talent; how Jeff Green approaches being the go-to guy for the first time in his career; and how all the new guys who came over from the Nets in the KG/Pierce deal look in green when the team takes on the Raptors.

This is also the first time the outside world will get to see what Brad Stevens' system is going to look like with professional athletes. Lots of first looks.

At the same time, most of what happens tonight should be taken with a grain of salt. Whoever Stevens starts tonight, don't expect those five players to start opening night, or even the next preseason game for that matter. The preseason is a time for players to gel and get comfortable playing with one another. It's a time for coaches to see what combinations work and what combinations leave much to be desired.

Stevens has quite the job ahead of him in deciding who to play and for how many minutes at the shooting guard, power forward and center spots. The plethora of shooting guards and power forwards on the latest iteration of the Celtics means lots of guys will get their shot and whoever seems to mesh the best will likely get the nod.

However they look and whatever the outcome is, the Celtics are back. In the immortal words of Ray Arnold, played by Samuel L. Jackson, in Jurassic Park: "Hold onto your butts."

Follow Eric