Perk was a beast last night. He is still getting himself into shape after the shoulder surgery, but I would say he is getting there quickly. He played 22 minutes, the most of any starter not named Pruitt, and finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block. One thing I noticed about Perk's play so far is that he has been trying to go right up with the ball when he catches it instead of putting it on the floor like he has in the past. I can tell that it is something he has been working on and it makes him much more effective under the basket.
In spite of having just one more preseason game left, we didn't see anything close to a regular lineup. First, Rondo was out. Second, the 3 stars all played in limited minutes once again. Maybe if it had been closer Doc would have given them more playing time but then the Celtics probably would have won by 50 or more.
Gabe Pruitt filled in for Rondo quite well with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists. He also had 6 turnovers, but was poised and did a good job of running the team. There is also a lot to be said for having a PG who can grab 12 rebounds against a couple of 7 footers in the opposing lineup. I'd like to see Pruitt at the back up PG and move House to the 2 guard, where he can be more effective with his quick release and great shooting touch. Tony can play the 3 and we would have a very lethal second unit. There wouldn't be any need to worry about where the offense would come from.
Speaking of Tony Allen, he continues to be up and down. Last night he finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists in 27 minutes. One thing Posey brought that was important was consistency. You always knew what you would get when he took the floor and he rarely made mistakes. Tony needs to get to that point if he hopes to help fill Posey's shoes on this team.
Leon Powe played 11 minutes and had 5 points and 2 rebounds but also had a scare. He was injured when he went up for a rebound and a Nets' player landed on his left foot, hitting a nerve. Powe lost all feeling in his left foot for 30 minutes. After the game he was able to put pressure on it, and seemed to be ok. He also still has swelling in the hand that he injured earlier, but Powe is tough and has been playing through the injury.
The Celtics are still turning the ball over way too much. They had 29 turnovers last night compared to 12 for the Nets. They simply have to take better care of the ball. They could still beat a Carterless Nets team with 29 turnovers, but don't expect the better teams in the league to let them get away with it. One area the Celtics improved in last night was in the rebounding. So far in the preseason, they have been beaten on the boards pretty seriously. Last night however, they out rebounded the Nets 56-29. They need to continue to crash the boards if they want to repeat.
Doc played everyone but Sam Cassell and Rondo. There is still a lot of speculation as to what the team will do over the next week or so. With Sam not playing a minute in the preseason, he could be moved directly to the coaching staff. But, Doc has said that Sam is here to play this season, not coach. But then again, he hasn't played in the preseason. And then, there is Miles who has looked quite rusty in his time on the court and has played sparingly, including 11 minutes last night. With his non-guaranteed contract, it would seem that he would be the most likely cut, but then Danny wouldn't get to stick it to the Blazers. There are also rumors that a trade may be in the works with Big Baby and Pruitt as the bait to bring in a banger to play behind Perk. With 8 days left until the season opener, we should find out soon.