A few thoughts about the Celtics 101-90 win over the Knicks in the season finale.
Gabe Pruitt played well in his second start of the preseason. He played 32 minutes and finished with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and most importantly, no turnovers. I think Gabe can handle the back up point guard position and that would free Eddie House to play the 2 guard where he can be most effective as a spot up shooter to spread the floor. House has had a solid preseason and is effective whether playing the point or the 2 guard. In the preseason finale, he once again was firing on all cylinders, scoring 20 to go with 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.
The starters played 21 minutes or less again last night and once again functioned like a well oiled machine. Their efficiency is almost scary to watch. Perk played only 12 minutes but made the most of them with 6 points and 5 rebounds. Rondo once again sat out but could have played if it was a regular season game. It was better to give Gabe another chance to run the team with the starters than to rush Rondo back anyway.
Leon Powe solidified his spot as the first big off the bench. I love Leon. He muscled his way to 19 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in 25 minutes. He definitely plays big and I expect him to break out this season if given the opportunity.
Tony continues to be up and down with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 turnovers last night. I have said it before, but the most important thing that Posey brought was consistency every night. They always knew what they would get from him and he rarely made mistakes. If Tony is to fill his shoes, the one thing he needs to work on is being consistent. He can't be up one night and down the next. And, he has to be able to play no matter how many minutes he gets.
Bill Walker may end up being the steal of the draft. He doesn't play like a rookie and like Leon, always seems to make the most of his minutes. Last night, he finished with 2 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Walker may end up being the player who makes us forget James Posey.
After being out-rebounded in the first several preseason games, the Celtics out-rebounded their opponents in the final two games. The Celtics shot 44% while holding the Knicks to 40%. Also, after turning the ball over 20 times or more in previous games, they cut their turnovers to 14. But, they still need to cut down on turnovers even more. All in all, it was a very good preseason. The stars got lots of rest but proved that they still have what it takes. The young players have proved that they can contribute.