Let’s deep-dive into the third preseason game of the 2023 Boston Celtics preseason schedule; specifically, into each and every player’s performance for the October 11 affair against the Philadelphia 76ers and dish out some player ratings, pro soccer style.
To set the scale, ratings are based on a mix of stats, defense, intangibles, and a little bit of the eye test. For now, the rankings will be based off a scale from 1-10. Although I hope no one will be in the 0-2 range, I will define every number accordingly:
Very poor: 0-2
Boston Celtics have room to improve despite win
First and foremost, the Boston Celtics won. They moved the ball exceptionally well and they played energetic defense despite the lack of consistency between the lineups.
As a whole, they were very entertaining to watch and should have Celtics fans excited for what they have to bring in the regular season. Despite this, there is still an area to grow.
Let’s dive into it:
Derrick White: 8.4
Derrick White started after taking the night off against the Knicks on Monday night. He was dominant on the defensive side of the ball, accumulating three blocks and a steal in just 17 minutes. He also provided four assists and 11 points. White looked good playing next to Holiday and Porzingis and will only get better with more time playing next to the two stars.
Jrue Holiday: 8.0
Jrue Holiday played an exceptional game and he showcased his scoring in a variety of different ways. Holiday played great switch defense and provided 11 points and a couple of assists of his own in his first start as a Boston Celtic.
Sam Hauser: 8.0
Sam Hauser started alongside the aforementioned guards and had a team-high plus/minus of +16. Early in the game he was getting good shots but could not seem to convert — though after the first few misses, he dialed it in from deep, hitting four threes on the night.
I was also impressed with his pump fake and dribble penetration to free up his teammates. His defense was okay throughout the game with a few good possessions mixed in with a few bad ones.
Kristaps Porzingis: 7.5
Kristaps Porzingis was solid time this preseason. He showed great ability to contest shots and his offensive versatility is something the Boston Celtics have been missing from their big men. Porzingis was able to shoot from anywhere on the court while also capable of screening, rolling, finishing inside, and doing whatever else he needed to do against the Sixers.
Al Horford: 7.0
It is hard to grade Al Horford for this game because he is always so steady and reliable. He hit his open shots and did what was expected of him. As the oldest player on the Boston Celtics, fans should expect similar performances out of him on a nightly basis.
Payton Pritchard: 8.7
Payton Pritchard continued to ball in his third straight game. He scored 17 points (although not a great three-point percentage) and appeared to be a man on a mission. Whether it was pushing the pace, initiating the offense, or shooting catch and shoot, Pritchard is playing like someone who has more to prove.
Lamar Stevens: 4
I was not very impressed with Lamar Stevens tonight. He brings energy and effort on defense but other than that he was a nonfactor. He missed a couple of open shots and had a few ill-advised turnovers. The Celtics will need more from him if they want him to be a rotation piece.
Wenyen Gabriel: 5
In his limited minutes, I thought Wenyen Gabriel was fine. He did not do too much but it is also hard to tell at the end of the game with all the bench players in.
Oshae Brissett: 4.5
I was happy with the way Oshae Brissett attacked the rim and got to his spots. However, his shooting needs work and he also had a few bad turnovers. I liked his energy on the boards and can see him getting some playing time off the bench.
Luke Kornet: 4.5
Once again, Luke Kornet was one of the non-factors in this game. He did not do anything poorly, yet he did not stick out either. He dished out a few assists but that is the extent of his impact.
Neemias Queta: 7
Boston Celtics fans should be pleasantly surprised by Neemias Queta’s performance. He was an active screener, roller, and rebounder for the team tonight and converted all four of his shot attempts and two free throws for 10 points. It will be interesting to see how Joe Mazzulla plays him going forward.
Svi Mykhailiuk: 8.5
Svi Mykhailiuk played an excellent game and added a legit shooting threat off the bench for the Celtics. He shot 3/4 from downtown and 5/6 overall against the Sixers; adding six assists and two rebounds as well.
Additionally, he seemed confident enough with the ball to drive close-outs and dish to open teammates.
Dalano Banton: 5
Dalano Banton was another rotational guy who played a fine game, though nothing stood out besides the inability to convert on open threes. Banton is a long guard who can impact the game in a variety of ways, but in the Celtics offense being able to make open shots is a necessity.
JD Davison: 5.2
JD Davison showed what fans always see when he plays. He is an explosive point guard who has an excellent passing sense but lacks in almost every other area on the court. Davison had a nice finish around the rim and a nice pass for an easy finish but was unable to convert on any outside shots, including a bad miss.
Jordan Walsh: 5
Jordan Walsh was another Celtic who I thought played just fine. His first defensive possession in the game he guarded Tyrese Maxey and forced a miss but that is about all Walsh did. He is always energetic on defense but it would have been nice to see him convert one of his three-point attempts.
DJ Steward: N/A
DJ Steward only played 3 minutes. Nothing to glean from this game on the Steward front.
And that’s a wrap for the Houdini’s player ratings from the C’s third preseason game against the Sixers. See you next game!