(photos courtesy of Yahoo)
I got to see this game live as Direct TV finally has begun showing the preseason games. I really like the fact that they offered both the Celtics feed and the Nets feed. I hope they continue to do that during the season. I love watching Mike and Tommy and getting the commentary through green colored glasses. Every season I have sent suggestions to the NBA to offer both feeds like they do with audio league pass and maybe they took my suggestion.
I usually do a Comments from the Other Side post after games and share some of the best comments from game threads for the opposing team. However, the Nets fans don't seem to care one way or another as I had trouble finding any game threads. I mean, even during the 18 game losing streak a few years back there was no shortage of Celtics' game threads. It's kind of sad there isn't more interest for the Nets out there.
Here's a few thoughts from the game. The Celtics bench is deep this season. I've seen a lot of talk about how the Celtics bench could beat a lot of the other teams' starters. Well, we got to see that in part in this game. Yes, Rondo and Perk played but the bench came through big time to get this win. The Celtics didn't have Paul Pierce, Ray Allen or KG at all as they sat out the whole game. They also had limited production from Marquis Daniels, who had a stomach bug and played very sluggishly in the first half and sat out the second half. They also didn't have Rasheed Wallace for much of the second half after he turned his ankle. In spite of all that, and playing against a Nets team that was playing at full force, the Celtics pulled out a win. Here are a couple of observations.
My favorite play of the game was when Scal made a no look bounce pass between his legs and behind him to a cutter. They called him for an illegal screen right after, but it was a pretty bad call. Scal made a great play.
I found it interesting that even though Doc didn't plan to play any of his 3 stars, KG and Paul Pierce were on the bench in suits but Ray Allen chose to dress in uniform even though he wasn't going to play.
The preseason Technical foul count is Sheed 2, Perk 1, and Eddie House 1. These replacement refs are pretty quick to call a T. Actually, they are pretty quick to call absolutely everything. Moves that are legal and that players have been making their whole careers are now being called as travels, fouls, etc. There have been an average of 15 more fouls called per game with the replacement refs and if that continues, I can see a lot more techs being handed out as players get more and more frustrated with the calls.
With Marquis Daniels and then Rondo playing the point and Eddie being allowed to play his natural position at the 2, we can see the benefits. Eddie has the fastest release in the game. When they get him the ball, it's through the hoop before the defense even knows he had it. I love what I have seen from Eddie all around in the preseason so far. He is on the floor scrambling for loose balls, taking charges, and playing defense. He has been very intense out there and it is still only the preseason.
I liked what I saw from JR Giddens last night. He was fighting hard for rebounds and finished with 13 of them. He was also playing very good defense. He probably will spend time in the D League again this season, but he is on track to become a very nice player as long as the attitude problems that plagued him in college don't resurface.
The one area that this team needs to improve is at the free throw line. Last night they shot 53.8% from the free throw line. They have to improve that as 54% from the charity stripe is totally unacceptable for a team that wants to win a championship. For the most part, making free throws is a matter of concentration and so they need to get their heads on straight and make their free throws.
The Celtics showed a lot in last night's game. They could have taken it easy with their 3 stars sitting out the whole game and 2 others sitting out part of it. When Daniels and Sheed both left the game and the Celtics were down, they could have folded and taken that as an excuse. But they didn't. They clawed and scraped and scratched their way to a win. Rondo came up big late as did House and Big Baby with some big plays down the stretch. I like that and hope to see a lot more of that intensity and scrapy play throughout the season.
Let's compare JR to two flashes in the pan--michael smith and gerald green. MS was a flash in the pan because he had that one good week out west. It was all offense. Gerald Green could dunk, and had what some called a flawless jumper. But I'm not sure he ever did anything to make people believe he could make it in the league.
As for JR, he gets after unlike the other two, plus he has more raw talent. Can he accept a role and can doc mold his talent?