The Boston Celtics were able to dispatch of the Phoenix Suns 117-103 on Sunday during their second scrimmage before this Friday’s seeding game opener.
Boston Celtics fans should feel very good about their team after the C’s took over late in their first victory in the Lake Buena Vista Bubble down in Walt Disney World. The Phoenix Suns were competitive early, but ultimately the C’s attack was too much to handle as they leveraged a dominant defensive effort in the fourth quarter to put the nail in the coffin on a competitive exhibition that resembled a regular-season game.
As Brian Scalabrine said, these “scrimmages” aren’t real scrimmages. These players are getting real-life scenarios to formulate late-game schemes. They are legitimate chances for teams to prove they have a two-way identity before the games have consequences in the standings.
The C’s did just that in Sunday’s win. Here are seven other takeaways from the team’s second tune-up tilt:
1. Jaylen Brown is proving he could be a dependable #2 option
Jaylen Brown is proving he could be that guy. Putting up 21 points on 50 percent shooting, the former #3 pick followed up on a promising start against OKC Friday and filled the scoring role for a struggling Jayson Tatum on Sunday.
Brown was stopping on a dime and nailing tough contested mid-range shots. It is imperative that he could provide those kinds of bail-out buckets to a team that may be missing their second-leading scorer in Walker many nights over the next few weeks.
2. Marcus Smart is a super sixth man
With the most impressive stat line from any Celtic so far, Marcus Smart had 10 points, five assists, and four rebounds on a perfect shooting day from the floor.
Few teams have players that have the tangible two-way impact Smart does. The Boston Celtics have the luxury of employing a guard who would start on more than 75 percent of the league’s teams.
3. Daniel Theis is giving C’s fans reasons to worry
That Deandre Ayton was similarly exploiting the paint–not to mention that Devin Booker‘s was able to break down the defense on the drive–is reason enough for fans to wonder if those pesky big man problems from the beginning of the season are rearing their ugly heads at the worst possible time.
4. Carsen Edwards look considerably better than he did during regular season
When play was suspended, Carsen Edwards was trying to figure out how to get out of a severe rookie year shooting slump. It felt like a sophomore slump considering how successful he was right out of the gates in the summer league and preseason. Alas, Edwards didn’t seem like he was ready for NBA competition just yet and was sent down to the G-League.
He is rewriting that narrative in Orlando. While the games don’t quite count, Edwards is showing out with his jumper and in his ability to get to the rim, and the C’s could definitely use that bench scoring this summer.
5. Gordon Hayward will be pivotal in the playoffs
Gordon Hayward had 17 points, six rebounds and three assists Sunday, which is right around his season averages of 17/6/4. He shot even better (60 percent from both the field and 3-point line) than usual.
The C’s are going to miss him if they are still around in September and he leaves the bubble for the birth of his child.
6. Vincent Poirier looks playable
While he missed the only shot he took, Vincent Poirier was aggressive and bouncy in the five minutes and thirty seconds he spent on the floor against Phoenix.
That’s better than what you can say about most of his performances this season, where he barely made a dent. Perhaps Poirier could right the ship in the bubble.
7. There won’t be much Tacko time in Disney
With all of the magic going around–like Andre Roberson‘s miraculous comeback after over 900 days away from the game–we all figured we could experience the magic of a seven-foot-five Senegalese supergiant making an impact in the Wide World of Sports complex.
Instead, he was the only Celtic not to record a single minute. Looks like there might not be much Tacko time in Disney.