Tonight’s Celtics-Sixers game in Delaware started off as your typical preseason contest. Sloppy. The two teams combined for 11 turnovers in the first quarter and shot an atrocius 14 of 41 from the field. Boston did however finish quarter one with a lead for the first time this preseason, 21-20. They had a pretty balanced attack, with seven different Celtics scoring in the quarter. Then things went from sloppy to just plain ugly for Boston. Behind Spencer Hawes’ 13 second quarter points, and Boston’s abysmal 6 of 20 shooting, (including 0 of 5 from downtown) the C’s went into the half down 54-38. The second quarter was the difference maker tonight as Philly dropped 34 points on Boston. The C’s looked impatient-chucking up jumpers and playing lackluster defense. Philly dominated in the painted area, outscoring Boston 30-12 down low. The Sixers finished the half on a 14-3 run and went into halftime up 54-38.
The Celtics managed to outscore Philly 19-18 in the 3rd, but more sloppy play, including seven turnovers, kept them from gaining any momentum. It was more jumpers, and a total lack of aggression on offense. The C’s did not attempt one free-throw in the entire quarter. Jeff Green, who is supposed to be Boston’s “go to guy” this year, continued to struggle. Jeff came off the floor for the night with about 8 minutes left in the fourth and looked visibly frustrated. He tallied just 4 points in 19 minutes on 2 of 11 shooting. He’ll need to find a way to get buckets if Boston is to be anything near successful this upcoming season.
Behind Sully, Olynyk & Pressey, the C’s actually made things interesting in the 4th. It’s quite obvious that Pressey is a huge spark off Boston bench, and the Celts were able to cut the lead to 88-82 with 2:50 left in the game. But they were simply unable to maintain any sort of consistency tonight. Every made basket seemed to be promptly followed-up by a turnover or defensive lapse. Going into this evening’s game, I truly thought a rested Boston team could run a weary Sixers squad that had just returned from overseas out of the gym. But it was just the opposite. Philly had much more spring in their step, and out ran the C’s by tallying 30 fastbreak points to Boston’s 12. C’s fall to 0-3 in the preseason as Philly wins 97-85. After the game, veteran Gerald Wallace told CSNNE the C’s did not play as a team and instead played like “five individuals.” He also said Boston started out tonight like they were “cool” and as if they were “supposed to win this game and they (Philly) were gonna hand us the game.” Celtics will now head back to Boston before making their way to New Hampshire tomorrow night for another game with the Knicks. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30pm.
- Jared Sullinger was one of the few effective guys for the C’s. He carved out space underneath all night to score 19 points & grab 9 boards.
- Jordan Crawford looked confident while running this team tonight . He played a solid 23 minutes, with a line of 12 pts, 2 rebs & 3 asts. Steez shot 4 of 4 from the line and 2 of 4 from downtown.
- Despite going 6 for 16 from the field, I’ll throw Olynyk in here. He continues to impress with his court vision and all-around hustle. Kelly dropped 13 points on a formidable Philly front court & had 3 steals and a block.
- The Celtics got destroyed under the basket. Philly scored 56 of their 97 points in the paint.
- The long range shooting was awful. Boston was 5 of 21 from downtown.
- Lee and Green combined for 8 points on 4 of 17 shooting.
The Grid: (quick stats)
- Brandon Bass grabbed 10 rebounds
- Celtics and Sixers combined for 41 turnovers
- According to Steve Bulpett, Keith Bogans, who sprained his thumb, will have an MRI tomorrow