A relatively unknown off-season acquisition, centre Vitor Faverani, showed Celtic fans during the preseason the kind of immediate impact he could have on this team for the upcoming season.
The Brazilian big man known as ‘El Hombre Indestructible’ played in all eight preseason contests, with some of the Boston faithful acknowledging he could be just the player the Celtics have been crying out for since the departure of Kendrick Perkins over two and a half years ago. With a solid 6-11 frame, an ability to finish around the rim, and a decent outside shot that stretches to the 3-point line, Faverani ticks a lot of boxes as a basketballer offensively.
Although he is still learning the game at an NBA level after playing in the Spanish Basketball League, the bigger hurdle for the big man has been learning the English language. When considering this, it is quite remarkable how quickly he has taken to Coach Stevens’ plays, especially on the defensive end. Vitor has been one of the most vocal players on D, which will be vitally important with the loss of defensive anchor Kevin Garnett. Highlighting his defensive prowess in the final preseason contest against the Nets, Faverani had a total of 6 blocks and 7 rebounds to his name in 28 minutes of play.
It was this final performance that has thrown Faverani’s name into the discussion of who will start at center on opening night against the Raptors. Over the short preseason his game has improved drastically, showcasing good hands, a desire to finish strong at the rim, blocks, some rebounding, and a vocal presence on D as the team continues to gel and play together.
Whether he gets the start over other bigs like Kris Humphries, Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, and rookie Kelly Olynyk, still remains to be seen. Regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench, ‘El Hombre Indestructible’ will play hard; the man himself did say ‘I like to fight’.
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