The of the few times preseason wins and losses really matter is when a team has an opportunity to win a game in its final possession. Last night, the Celtics had that opportunity, and it fell to Gabe Pruitt to make things happen.
And he did.
What we're seeing is the first evidence that his insane offseason workout progam is paying off. But getting better physically is only half of it. The other half is getting into the right mindset to not only lead a team… but lead a team full of superstars. And of all the people helping Gabe get there mentally… it's the guy no one wanted back in Boston:
“If you want to follow the example of somebody who is vocal, [Sam Cassell] is the guy,” laughed Pruitt, who admittedly has encountered some trouble getting vocally tough with his star teammates.
“Yeah, that can be hard because there’s a lot of older guys,” he said. “You tend to want them play their game.
“But I came in this year and my new focus was to just play the game,” said Pruitt. “Do the little things. Sam has been really helping me out, and also (assistant coach) Armond (Hill). Sam has really been pulling me aside and working with me.”
Sam says he wants to be an assistant after he's done. Maybe this year is his training… and he'll be a sort of player coach. No matter what… I think Gabe Pruitt is a pretty good basketball player. With Doc adding his usual focus on point guards, this kid has plenty of chances to learn how to play the position. He's got good skills. Once his basketball IQ reaches the next level, he'll be a very valuable asset to this team.
Camerato WEEI Blog: Pruitt shows growth | Pierce stiff but OK | Powe getting x-rays on hand | Herald: Miles can make 'em pay | Walker won't back down | Globe: Posey just minding his business | Souza: Big Baby makes amends in Manchester | Telegram: Young bench seeks identity | SI: Paul Forrester's Celtics preview | Hoopsworld: Celtics & Rockets get hot and heavy | ESPN: Highlights from Nuggets/Suns outdoor game | Monta Ellis suspended 30 games without pay for scooter accident
And as part of our continuing blogger previews (coordinated by Jeff at CelticsBlog.com), here's what the bloggers of the Southwest division have come up with for their teams.
Jake Kerr: Mavs Moneyball
grungedave and UofTOrange: The Dream Shake
Joshua Coleman: 3 Shades of Blue
New Orleans Hornets
Rohan: At the Hive
ticktock6 & mW: Hornets Hype
Ryan Schwan & Ron Hitley: Hornets247.com
San Antonio Spurs
Graydon Gordian: 48 Minutes of Hell
Also see links to all the previews at CelticsBlog.com