Boston Celtics basketball debuted tonight and while the results were mixed it felt good to see the green again. We knew things weren’t going to be pretty from the start with a rookie head coach and a less than average roster that has forced some guys out of their comfort zones. Boston at least showed tonight that they’re willing to at least compete even if their talent level won’t be able to compensate. Inconsistency, like they showed tonight will plague this team all season if they’re not able to string more than two straight quarters of solid basketball.
Here are my takeaways from the game:
Avery Bradley Should Not Be Playing Point Guard:
Look, I know that it’s only one game and I know that the roster necessitates it but Avery playing point guard is among the worst positional fits in the league. He has none of the required skills to play that position, and that’s not a slight to Avery but we need him cutting off the ball not running pick-and rolls. This might be a short term problem but you run the risk of Avery completely losing his confidence and in turn, inhibiting his development. It works in the sense that if you want to be bad and further your tanking chances but it’s just so unpleasing aesthetically. His 4 TOs to his 4 assists is not a good ratio, at all.
Jeff Green’s Preseason Struggles Were An Aberration:
It’s no secret that Jeff struggled in the preseason, his 35% FG% and 23% 3pt shooting were wildly unlike him. Tonight he shook what just might have been preseason rust and was extremely aggressive all night long. If Stevens wants this to continue through out the season he has to stress to the team to get Jeff the ball in transition — Per Synergy Sports, Jeff scored 1.26 ppp last season in transition which had him ranked 60th in the league. He killed Toronto in transition every opportunity he got and his 25 pts, 5 rebs and 1 ast line surely has Celtics fans excited about his development.
Boston’s Offense Is Going To Struggle This Season:
While they shot 48%, I was extremely displeased from what I saw from the Celtics on offense. They often seemed to have trouble getting into their sets and forgot how to control the ball. Their 22 turnovers got increasingly more stupid after each one. Their 11 point 2nd quarter was quite possibly one of the most embarrassing displays of offense I’ve seen. The only recognizable play sets during that quarter were the designed post isos on the right block for Jeff — a play set which I like very much.
Also for what it’s worth, the starting lineup that Stevens threw out there tonight — Avery/Green/Wallace/Bass/Faverani — had a 3.9 Net Rating(from NBA.com) in 11 minutes. Not great but it’s something to take note of even in an extremely small sample size.
Kelly Olynyk’s Transition To The NBA Might Take Awhile:
Boston’s 1st round selection, Kelly Olynyk got off to a rough start. His performance on the glass was less than stellar and there were times on defense where he just looked lost. There’s no need to worry excessively, it’s only one game and there’s plenty of games left to be played.
One game, down 81 to go. Boston debuts at home against Milwaukee Friday at 7:30 P.M.