It's been a busy day and there's a lot of Celtics news to catch up on. The team had their last practice before their first preseason game tomorrow. After 5 days of installing new plays and defensive sets, Doc finally allowed the Celtics to have a practice that was mostly scrimmaging. Doc divided them into 2 teams with the first 8 players on one team including KG, Pierce, Rondo, Bass, Lee, Green, Terry and Darko. The second team was everyone else.
They played 4 games with the 1st/2nd team winning 2 games and the third team winning 2 games. It's exciting that the Celtics 3rd team can push the 1st/2nd team hard and make them work. This team is talented from top to bottom. Here is a recap of the 4 games from Celtics.com.
Game 1 – 6 minutes
Dionte Christmas banged in a 3-pointer from the top of the key – off the glass, no less – to help the third unit win the first game by a score of 14-11. The first-second unit hybrid team had a chance to tie the game on the final possession, but Pierce and Rajon Rondo each missed 3-pointers.
Game 2 – 6 minutes
The first-second unit must have been motivated from that loss in Game 1, because it came back strong in Game 2. Boston’s top players won the second contest by a score of 12-8, and Milicic shined toward the end of the matchup by successfully defending guard Dionte Christmas on the perimeter, then blocking his shot attempt, to seal the win.
Game 3 – 1 minute
Rivers created a situational contest by putting one minute on the clock and giving the third unit an 86-83 lead. Garnett began the game by making just one of four free throws (he actually should have shot 0-of-4 from the line, but he capitalized on a lane violation by Fab Melo) to bring the score to 86-84. After that performance, Rivers joked to Garnett that, “They’ll be coming out with hack-a-Garnett pretty soon.”
Jamar Smith made a free throw for the third unit to make it 87-84, and then Rondo was put on the line with just a few seconds left in the game. He made the first shot, then attempted to miss the second, but the shot accidentally fell through the net to make it 87-86. Rondo nearly stole the inbounds pass to Kris Joseph, but Joseph corralled the pass and kicked it ahead to Christmas, who dribbled out the clock to give the third unit a 2-1 series advantage.
Game 4 – 4 minutes
Rivers put four minutes on the clock and instructed his players that they would be drawing up the plays during timeouts. Jason Terry drew up the first play for the first-second unit, which led to a wide-open jumper for Garnett. Terry would score on his unit’s next possession to make it 4-0, and then Rob Kurz scored on a driving layup for the third unit to make it 4-2.
Then the highlight came.
Rondo drew up a play during a timeout and it worked to perfection. Jeff Green ducked to the basket and caught a perfect pass from a teammate and slammed home a reverse dunk that got some teammates fired up. Pierce tacked on a free throw to make it a 7-2 game, and that was the final score.
A couple of notes:
Chris Wilcox missed his second practice with back spasms after taking a hard hit in their third practice.
Camp invitee Micah Downs sat out today because of a sore left shoulder.
Jared Sullinger has impressed with his passing. Darko,
Fab, and Dionte, who remains a great energy player, all
had their moments against the vets.
The Celtics are going to be happy to face someone else besides playing against each other.