Celtics 100 Nets 86
The Cs closed out preseason with a bang.
Avery and Jeff got pulled after playing the first 8 and 9 minutes respectively. Marcus Smart (who started) and Kelly Olynyk each played 16. The guys who played upwards of 20 minutes were: Sullinger, Bass, Wallace, Zeller, Pressey, and James Young.
- With 15 Points and 17 Boards, Sullinger’s streak of dominance continues heading into the regular season. The consistency with which he’s pulling down monster boards has got to be satisfying for him. Jared’s positioning himself to be an All-Star candidate with his recent play. It’ll be interesting to see how the next six days affect him. Fortunately, Brooklyn is the opponent for the third contest in a row, so familiarity will help (Oh and what’s good, KG?). At the very least, Rondo has got to be pleased with what he sees.
- Gerald Wallace turned in a +19 PER performance- tied for team best with Olynyk and Smart- with 12 Points 5 Assists and 3 Steals on 6-8 Shooting. This performance is especially encouraging for a number of reasons. Earlier this month, Wallace told reporters he feels healthier than he did last year. Not too long ago this guy was an All-Star. Don’t let his statistical drop off tell the whole story. Analytics don’t measure heart. Gerald dives for every loose ball, shoots it efficiently, and turns in performances like this one from time to time. If he can contribute consistent minutes at the 3 and 4 spots, he’s going to be a useful piece off the bench this season.
- James Young was +14 in 26 Minutes, even though he only shot 2-8 from the Field (1-4 from Three). He did have 4 Rebounds, an Assist and a Steal. He’s going to need to work on his consistency, especially from Three, where he can begin to carve a niche for himself. One of my favorite things about James is his basketball IQ. In a recent Q & A, Brad Stevens said James consistently does three things when the ball is in his hands: he passes it, shoots it, or drives. His quick decision-making and hustle (he’s only 19!) are going to be his calling cards this season. He has a tremendously bright future ahead of him, but he’ll have to take the least bumpy path along the way.
- Lastly, Dwight Powell had 4 Points, and 1 Block, Rebound, Assist, and Steal apiece. For the vast majority of you who know nothing about Dwight Powell, he was drafted out of Stanford in the 2nd Round (45th Overall) by the Charlotte Hornets and later dealt to Boston with a bunch of scrubs for Keith Bogans’ non-guaranteed contract (a classic salary cap oriented trade). He made enough of an impression that the team dealt reserve big man Joel Anthony to Detroit for Will Bynum, who will likely be cut so that Powell can get that roster spot.
- Any questions? In the big picture this season, Dwight Powell is not really in the picture. But his play was such that Brad Stevens had to have him. I like that kind of endorsement. Assuming Bynum is indeed cut (we’ll know for sure very soon), Powell becomes the third rookie on the roster.
Great to see the team put in the work tonight. Especially with regards to Wallace and Young. Due to recent injuries, both have been forgotten in recent discussions. Gerald and Jeff are mentors for Young as a Small Forward. As the season moves along, Young will usurp Gerald’s minutes. For now, it’s learn-as-you-go, which is fine. We’re a deep team. Wallace and Young fall by the wayside in favor of Turner, Smart, Thornton, and Zeller off of the bench, but if they make the case for minutes, that’s a problem I’m sure Brad wouldn’t mind having.
Regular Season starts next Wednesday, October 29. Brooklyn in Boston.
Homer Johnsen is a fan and a freelance Celtics Beat Writer for the Department of the Redundancy Department. His reaction pieces are posted after the games, right here on HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.