I thought this game was going to be about Kevin Garnett and Al Jefferson. Instead it was about Ray Allen and Ricky Davis. Both were hot early on, but Davis cooled off in the second half and Ray Allen simply didn’t. Glad to see Ray step up and say "I can take over a game too."
Garnett, while quiet in terms of scoring, was still all over the court. In fact, at one point he was diving on the court for a loose ball. Not sure how many superstars do that in their second preseason game.
Overall, however, this was a very sloppy game, which is more in line with what I would normally expect in the preseason. I think everyone was geeked up for the Raptors game because it was the first time out and everyone was really focused on making each other look good. This game saw a lot more turnovers, missed assignments, and bad communication. Case in point, Garnett pulled the ball out of the basket and went to inbound it to Rondo who was already darting across the lane in the opposite direction that KG passed it to. Turnover. Basically this is stuff that happens when you have lots of new teammates.
With that said, the team did go on a run at the end of the 2nd half that made me smile. You see, this is what good teams do. All NBA teams are going to be able to go back and forth and match baskets for much of the game. Good teams pick their spots and just start rolling for a stretch. Two or three minutes later a 2 point game becomes a 12 point game and they go back to trading baskets, but the game is already under control. This is how I see the Celtics winning a lot of games this year.
I also enjoyed seeing the Celtics continue to look for the extra pass. Pierce had a look at a 3 pointer that he would have shot ten times out of ten, but he saw Ray Allen in the corner and passed it to him for an easy 3. Garnett is one of the best passing big men I’ve ever seen and Perkins is very, very good himself.
My favorite play of the game involved 3 good, quick passes. Perkins started it with an entry pass from the top of the key to Garnett at the free throw line. KG half turned and found Rondo sneaking along the baseline behind the defense. Instead of going up into the trees he found Ray Allen wide on the wing beyond the arch. Swish. Just a fun play to watch.
In fact, you see Perkins starting the offense quite often from the top of the key. Is he the backup point guard I’ve been looking for? Hmmm.
On the other side, it was nice to see some old teammates once again. And of course it was nice to look at them and for the most part think "I’m glad we don’t have those problems anymore." Gerald Green is going to need to be a volume shooter to be effective because I think he needs that rhythm like Ricky Davis does. Telfair was nothing special. Gomes was pretty quiet. Ratliff had more of a pulse than we’ve seen in a year, but he’s about 5 to 6 games away from another season ending injury.
And of course, they just didn’t get the ball to Al Jefferson enough. Or as the immortal Hubie Brown put it: "Please give the man the look, because he can finish the basket." Preach on Skeletor.
Not a pretty game to watch, but it was a learning experience. Now let’s get the team back to the states and get back to work.