(via Celtics.com on Facebook)
An overtime loss in preseason? That says it all.
First up, photo galleries:
Despite the usual “preseason is what it is” rule, the game proved to be interesting in a lot of ways.
Unexpected starter lineup
Despite massive speculation and Doc’s talk about experimentation, it ended up being JET and Bass who started alongside Pierce, KG and Rondo. Not Lee, not Sully, not Darko.
Bass seemed to be feeling out his options this time, preferring to drive and finish rather than settling for his usual jumpers.
Crazy bench scoring
I can’t remember the last time we had 56 points in bench points, even during preseason games. Lee, Green and Sully are going to be carrying the bench to new heights, seriously. Add Wilcox to the mix, nothing but explosive. Add Bradley’s return, bam. If anyone hasn’t realised it yet, our bench is insanely loaded with firepower.
This season is gonna be LEGEN-wait-for-it-because-opener-is-a-month-away-but-who-cares-DARY.
(via Red’s Army)
Melo had 23 points in 23 minutes, was the top scorer in the game and will continue to be a huge factor in the coming season games.
He powered his way past Pierce in the post, expect to see more of this and active help defense in future games. Of course, this is only IF he is willing to continue his post play. He’s strong, fast and a good finisher, the only thing that’s stopping him from being an overwhelming force in the paint (similar to LeBron) is his pride at being a wing player.
All good, keep it up I say. So long as he continues his selfish domination of the Knicks offense in being a wing player, the chances of winning look pretty good.
The one about poor pick and roll defense
Chandler dunked about a million times on easy pick and rolls, awful defense.
New signing Chris Copeland (the dude who looks like a lion) abused the Celtics similarly on his rolls to the rim. I guess Woodson basically told him “Look, keep rolling hard after you screen, and keep at it all night until they stop you.” Third string dudes had no answer and Copeland scored 21 – that’s how the game was won.
All Chandler/Copeland did was to keep rolling hard to the basket, period. I noticed how the Celtic big would be maintaining his distance from the opposing guard, which gave the guard ample space and angle for those lobs. Also, not forgetting the help defense. No one was close enough to take a charge, or even foul the guy.
Would showing hard stop the lobs? Or perhaps, reading the situation better to cover the roll man would be a better option. Sullinger did fine on a couple of possessions, recovering his position enough to stop Copeland in his tracks before he could get to the basket.
Regardless, this is something that needs to be ironed out. I’ll vote for KG screaming death threats and smacking everyone repeatedly until they get the hang of pick and roll defense.
Insanely pointless and irrelevant overtime
You could hear the collective groan when overtime was inevitable. Seriously, more of this? At that point, the Celtics lineup consisted of the rookies (Sully, Joseph) and training camp bodies (Smith, Downs, Christmas). The Knicks however, were fielding Kidd and Novak among other scrubs (including star of the night Copeland) – you could tell they really wanted to win.
The Celtics bench guys couldn’t buy their way into a decent shot on most possessions if it wasn’t thrown down to Sully, they couldn’t defend the roll and that’s overtime in summary.
Sidenote: Smith seemed more comfortable handling the ball on offense. While Christmas skipped out on PG duties, he was simply maniacal with his energy and hustle on defense. The guy still has got my vote.
I wonder how Kidd felt like, going from a starter role with the Mavs to fighting garbage time with the third string guys.
Sully continues his excellent play
(via Celtics.com on Facebook)
What else can I say? He played smart, always looking to make the right pass or otherwise take it into the low post. He cleaned up the glass to the tune of 7 rebounds (on par with Rondo this game), and scored 14 before he fouled out.
What a great addition to the team this rookie is fast becoming. The best part is, he’s shown that he is comfortable playing with starters and/or second unit, he knows when he should be giving the ball and when he should be making his moves. Just a smart, smart guy.
Green and Lee continue to attack the rim
12 points and an emphatic one-handed jam in the face of two Knicks.
Lee with an underhand scoop, check out 0:24. I love his baseline 3/drive routine, such an easy and effective combination.
Man, him and Lee are going to give the rim some TLC in the months ahead, especially when Wilcox returns to reform the three-headed transition monster.
The captain bombs away Sheed-style
1 of 6 from downtown. Is it me or is Pierce lofting too many bombs these days? It began last season, and it’s beginning to remind me uncomfortably of the mad bomber Sheed. I like that he has unshakeable confidence in his next shot, but I would like to see more of his usual array of drives, spin moves, pump fakes and stepbacks.
That’s all I’ve got on the game. What do you reckon, a clean kill next time on the Knicks?