We have seen 2 preseason games so far and there are a few things that I have noticed and have been thinking about this team. The first word that comes to mind when I think of KG is intensity. This guy just exudes intensity out there on the court. Even when he is sitting on the bench he is up and yelling to his teammates. You can see him yelling out on the court when he is playing and pumping his fist when the Celtics make a play. This kind of intensity is catchy and the whole team seems to be playing with a bit more fire. Bill Simmons has this to say about KG's intensity:
KG is so intense, NBA TV should have a reality show just so we could see him doing everyday things like buying clothes or pumping gas. A friend of mine watched a Pats game in the same suite as KG and reported that Garnett got so wound up during the game that he'd stand up every time Randy Moss was being single covered and start muttering, "Here we go ... here we go ..." Multiple people have described being in the same room with him when he gets like that as "being in the same room with a force of nature."
This team hustles. Last year I would get so frustrated watching other teams beat us to loose balls and hustle for rebounds. This season already I have seen everyone going after loose balls, battling for rebounds and when we see KG diving on the floor for loose balls, you know you're whole team is going to hustle. And, this is only the start of the preseason. If they are hustling this much now, imagine what they will be like in the regular season.
Perk is going to get a lot of easy dunks. KG is going to see a lot of double teams and when he does, he is going to find Perk open since it is usually his man who goes to the double. Already, we have seen KG with some great passes inside to Perk for easy dunks. KG is impressed with Perk's ability to catch his passes: “Things are pretty comfortable now - I wouldn’t say easy,” Garnett said.
“But Perk has great hands and that makes it a lot easier to formulate where the pass goes. Perk is doing a good job of catching my passes, because sometimes I can put a little Roger Clemens on it.
Let's remember that for the past 2 seasons, KG has been playing beside Mark Blount who has the worst hands in the league. I remember one play where KG made one of those nifty passes into the post and Blount fumbled the ball so much that KG went in and took it back and dunked it himself. Here is a look at one of those great passes and Perk's finish.
Rajon Rondo can run this team. Rondo has done a good job of getting the ball to the right people. He plays more like a veteran than a 2nd year player. He also hasn't been shy about taking the shot when they leave him open but is still a pass first PG. His form on his shot looks pretty good. He has been confident and has been vocal out on the floor and has made good decisions on offense.
Tony Allen is going to be fine. He is forcing some things now and is still lacking confidence in his knee as evidenced by the way he hung on the rim after his baseline dunk and the slight limp afterwards, but now that he has that out of the way, I have a feeling that he is going to be more aggressive going to the basket.
Eddie House can shoot. He will be a microwave type scorer off the bench. He gets his shot off very quickly and is going to help the bench scoring. He also may be a streak shooter as he was hot in the Raptors game (6-10, 14 points) and not so much in the Wolves game (1-3, 2 points).
The back up PG spot is still a question. Eddie House did a decent job filling in when Rondo went to the bench. He can score, but he also showed that he can find the open man. Tony Allen still looks scary when the dribbles too much. Gabe Pruitt has looked good at times and lost at others, but he does seem to have a lot of promise. He has to learn to deal with pressure though.
Doc looks like a much better coach when he has veterans who know what they are doing on the team. We still have a long way to go and there will be situations where he is going to have to make decisions in games that will affect the outcome, but so far, he has just more or less let them play and they have rewarded him with 2 wins.
Our bench isn't all that bad. James Posey plays very good defense and is going to be a vital cog on this team. Leon Powe looks very good and is going to be able to hold down the PF spot when KG goes out. Batista has shown that he can fill in for Perk at the center spot and Eddie House and Tony Allen have looked good at the back up PG/SG spots. Big Baby and Pruitt both have shown promise. Brandon Wallace is an intriguing player and Scal is Scal, what more can I say? In both games, the bench held their own against the opposing bench.
This team is building great chemistry off the court, but they aren't quite there on the court. I loved the stories of the team going everywhere together and the camaraderie they built while in Europe was great. On the court you can see it coming, but they still start out a little slow and build up to it. After a few more games, it will be there. The off court chemistry is excellent and that will translate to games as they play together a little more. Pierce, KG and Ray are going to be able to play together just fine. They share the ball and find the hot hand. In the Raptors game, it was Pierce and KG and in the Wolves game, it was Ray Allen.
We need to work on free throw shooting. As a team we shot 69.6% in the Raptors game with only Perk perfect from the line (4-4). In the Wolves game, as a team they shot 59% from the line with Pierce leading the way 6-11. This is unacceptable.
This is going to be a very exciting season. It is just the preseason and we are already seeing some pretty intense and serious basketball. It is very good to be a Celtics fan these days. [Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]