Once again, the Celtics had some positives and some negatives as they lost their third game in a row, this time to the Knicks. Isaiah seems to have the Knicks playing well and Balkman is playing very well.
Telfair came out of the blocks ready to play and scored the Celtics first 9 points. He was having his best game as a Celtic but sat out the second half with a stomach ailment. Rondo once again was excellent with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals before fouling out at the end of the game. One sequence in particular has to make you excited about what this kid can do. Gerald missed a jumper from the corner and Rondo swooped in from nowhere to slam it home. He then turned around and stole the inbounds pass and took it in for another slam. He plays with the poise and court sense of a veteran and you just have to be excited about what he has done so far. You can see this sequence on YouTube here.
Doc started Kandi and Allan Ray in place of the injured Pierce and Ratliff. It seems that Doc will do anything not to play Perk and I don't understand it because Perk is clearly ready to take his game to the next step and has been our best center so far. Perk and Al were playing very well. Perk had 6 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 blocks in 23 minutes. If Doc would just let this kid play, he will be a monster on the boards by the end of the season. In spite of missing several easy shots in the lane, Al looked good and rebounded well with 6 in just over 20 minutes.
The negatives come mostly from the coaching. Doc left a small lineup in that wasn't getting the job done way too long and it allowed the Knicks to get back into the game and change the momentum. Our shooting seemed rather tentative with that lineup. Also our defense was terrible last night. We allowed the Knicks to get way too many easy baskets. We have to improve our defense or we won't get anywhere this season. The Celtics were once again outrebounded by 18 and this has a lot to do with Doc playing too much small ball without a rebounder in the game. Perk is our best rebounder right now and he needs to get more minutes.
In spite of being 1 and 3 so far in the preseason, I can see a lot to be positive about with this team. I continue to believe that the weak link in this team is going to be Doc.
Rajon is a Swiss Army Knife. He's able to do everything on the court. Lucky that he's one of these guys who don't run out of energy. At the pace he plays, and with the hustle he puts forth, most guys would tire out by halftime. But Rajon can keep on going, even on back to back days.