Here are some observations from the Celtics 93 – 65 thrashing of the 76ers in the pre-season opener.
I'm officially starting the Semih Erden fan club: 13 points. 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 21 minutes. He's got some touch around the hoop and the bulk (he looks bigger than 6-11, 240 lbs) to bang.
Shaq also impressed: 8 points (4-5 FG), 2 rebounds in 20 minutes. He had a couple of tip-in buckets off lobs. He seems fit and interested. Watch out.
Ray Allen might be getting younger. The dude doesn't miss a beat: 14 points (2-3 3FG) and 8 rebounds.
The Celtics are light years better than Philly (Iguodala and Brand did not play) and it showed, especially on the defensive end. Philly had 9 points after the 1st quarter, 22 at half. Rondo was a menace (4 points, 8 assists, 3 steals and no headband).
KG had 2 points, (0-4 FG), 2 rebounds and 1 block in 18 minutes. Doc Rivers set the bar high with his training camp praise ("explosive" and "unguardable") of Garnett, but he didn't do much tonight. That's not to say KG isn't back, we just didn't see it.
Paul Pierce (8 points, 4 TOs) did not play in the 2nd half. In his postgame presser, Doc Rivers said Pierce was sick.
Former UMass star Stephane Lasme exploded for 12 points in the 4th quarter. He's one active dude. Kudos to KG who was leading the bench applause for Lasme.
If some of these player stats are incorrect, don't blame me. The box scores for ESPN, SI and Yahoo! Sports are all incomplete.
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