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Recap: Wallace, Sully impress in lackluster preseason opener

Chuck - Red's Army October 7, 2013 Gametime, Recaps 18 Comments

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The first (preseason) game of the Brad Stevens era is in the books and zzzzzzz. Sorry, it was that type of game.

The Celtics lost 97-89. Other than assessing some individual performances, there are little assumptions to be made.

The Green:

Jared Sullinger (14 points, 6 reb, 4 assists) showed us that he’s fully healed from back surgery. He’s still a very savvy and crafty player in the paint. Gerald Wallace (16 points) showed us that he has a pulse.

The Celtics had 25 assists on 33 baskets. Kelly Olynyk led the green with 5 assists. They moved the ball fairly well but I’m still trying to get a feel for what Brad Stevens is trying to do on offense. The philosophy appears to be “take the midrange jumper.”

The Gross:

The defense was… lacking. Toronto shot 52% and tallied 52 points in the paint. The Celtics were outrebounded 46-26. The differential was 22-6 at halftime.

Jeff Green (2-7) and Courtney Lee (2-9) struggled. Green still goes right far too often for my liking.

The Greenlights:

Avery Bradley with the steal and layup. I really enjoyed the return of his ferocious defense.

Kelly Olynyk finishes the fast break. I like his athleticism and vision.

The Grid:

  • Jordan Crawford took 3 shots in 20 minutes.
  • Phil Pressey collected a DNP-CD
  • The Celtics “forced” 25 turnovers

If you want John’s take on the game, check out his positives and negatives on Sulia.

Box score

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  • Screamin Jay

    How can you call the first game of the new Celts…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzz? If only for the opportunity to see what the new guys have to offer, I don’t give a F how they played. And, regarding how they played, I found a bunch of the Celts fun to watch.

    Approaching this season as a work in progress, with adjusted expectations to fit, is the way to go.

  • Jake Gruber

    I know you didn’t outright say it, but if you’re insinuating that you didn’t like the offense, I’d have to disagree. I think that for the lack of offense this roster is blessed with, they got exceptionally good shots. There is literally NO one on this team except rondo who can create shots for people, and they still ended up with 25 assists on the 33 buckets.

    Jeff Green showed as all again tonight why he will probably not be as good as we all hope. Even without a single all star ou t on the floor with him, he was just as tentative as before. In fact, he almost seemed more tentative. Almost like he is scared to assume the role he knows he needs to take. Very frustrating.

    Lee just isn’t good. I don’t know how he fooled all of us before he came to Boston. He has very little handle, a pretty bad shot, and is mediocre on D.

    I absolutely loved what I saw out of Olynyk. That guy can flat out play. He’s such a cerebral player. Tommy actually had a great point about Olynyk when he caught it on the wing, just looked at the rim to draw the defender, and then passed it on to Bradley for an open 3. He’s a glue guy at worst. Humph and Wallace too.

    Overall I liked the unselfishness of this team and the energy they brought. Unfortunately they just aren’t very skilled and 13 of their 15 players play either the 2 or the 4 and they once again have no consistent shooting. Brad Stevens’ offense is not the question. The Backdoor cuts he had them making actually freed up a ton of space, they just couldn’t make shots. They also ran a lot of flare screens, which is terrific for when you have people who can shoot.

    I can’t wait until Stevens gets his hands on a talented roster here.

    • Jake Gruber

      Can’t believe I didn’t mention Sullinger. I think I almost expect it out of him so it doesn’t cross my mind. He will only get better with age, too. I believe he could be the leading scorer on this team if Green never wakes up.

      • forever_green

        I agree, coaching is not gonna be the issue, talent is. The C’s just don’t have the studs right now.

      • Curt Hays

        I would like to take this time to remind everyone that I predicted Sully and Kelly to be the leading scorers on the team. :-)
        They were both solid. Good recap though. We DO need the diversity you’re pointing as something we lack. C’mon Danny, not again.

    • Rjd12345

      I wish Stevens didn’t seem so passive. Maybe that’ll change in the regular season. Disagree on Green. Think one preseason game doesn’t change what he did the last half the season last year. Otherwise good points.

      • Curt Hays

        I’m not a fan of the zen coach either, but it worked for Phil and Red, didn’t it?

    • frickenWaaaltah

      Didn’t see the game, but it looks like Lee struggled with the DeRozan matchup? I mean that shouldn’t be a huge surprise, right? The Raps are pretty tall now. I would think the best option for when they have 6’7″ DeRozan at the 2 and 6’8″ Rudy Gay at the 3 is probably playing Green and Wallace together.

      I hope Stevens figures out quick that this is a match-up league. A roster like this won’t be calling the tune most nights, it’ll have to answer the challenge presented by the other coach’s lineup choice. It’s not going to be about ‘how can they match up with us?’ anymore, it’s going to be ‘how do we match up with them tonight?’ The roster does have some versatility though, so if Stevens isn’t afraid to mix it up, they do have a lot covered.

    • adam

      I think once they get Rondo into the mix it will be fun. they might even win a few games.

  • forever_green

    Well, this is definitely gonna be hard to get used to. It’s gonna be hard losing games, I really hope guys like Rondo & Bradley or even Sully don’t get frustrated and want a change. Losing games can really take a toll, I know it does for me just as a fan.
    So much for rebounding, the C’s are really small up front. Without Rondo there was no identity, Uncle Jeff is still passive and had problems with Rudy Gay, sad. Also I really don’t want to watch Crawford play basketball anymore, hurts my eyes.

    I guess it is what it is. Our Captain & heart and souls are in Brooklyn, PP & KG. It’s gonna be a tough transition & take a lot of patients.

    • Rjd12345

      Crawford was actually solid in this game. He took smart shots, made some great passes and allowed Bradley to play off ball. I usually can’t stand him either, but I gotta give him credit for this game

      • forever_green

        Crawford was decent, he’s just so awkward I can’t get over it.

  • david

    They lost, but I’m not disappointed because we knew this was the team they were going to be this season. It will be fun to watch the young guys develop, I really like Olynyk, even though his defense needs work. Liked those 5 assists.

  • frickenWaaaltah

    Did Stevens seriously start Humphries at center? Do they get extra ping pong balls for tanking the preseason or something?

  • Alexander E

    OMG. Looks like a long season ahead. No Rondo. Disappointed in Green. Frustrated with Lee. Why didnt Stevens use Faverani more? Why DNP Pressey ? Anyway, Still early and remain Celtics forever !!!

  • Robert Hodgman

    I can’t believe I almost started to believe the training camp hype on Humphries. When we got him I was disappointed but not for the Kardashian crap. i just hated his game and cheap shot style.
    The Celtics spin almost convinced me he was in great shape and had made vast improvement over the summer. Then he came out and played the way I always remember him playing, being outmatched athletically, and using cheap moves like getting under guys when they jump, sneaky pushes in the back, and basically just crashing into people to try to make up for it. Well he can’t make up for it, he still sucks!
    My favorite part was him getting rejected by the hoop on a point blank put-back dunk attempt. 6’10″ and he couldn’t even get it over the rim!

  • bill_nair

    Waaayyy to much complaining on here for a PRE-SEASON game. It was entertaining as hell. Glad basketball is back.

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