I'll start by saying that the venue was small. I'll end that thought with IT SOLD OUT. Pre season game sold out. How many other professional sports have a preseason sell out? It could have been the site. Hartford is about half way between NY and Boston. There were Knick fans there. I know sounds funny, but there they where. I counted like 5 of them on my side of the building. There was probably a total of 15-20 fans in Knicks garb(out of 16,000). I would imagine there were more incognito, of course we remember those days as a fan don't we?
The only problem I had with the game was apparent at start, NO AMARE. I feel the preseason is only good for your team if you play against starters for the other team. Before the jump ball, I said the Celtic should win by 30.
Going through warm-ups I watched KG take 17' jumpers. Swish, swish and in the game more of the same. The one part of KG's game I worried the most about. He struggled most of last year taking that shot, which he would normally make 90 out of 100. It was his bread and butter and now seems to be again. Can I get a SWEET from everyone?
PP & Ray were short lived on the floor but made contributions. Shaq, man he is still a beast. To quote a Celtics press you can't teach WIDE. Shaq and BBD (Uno, Uno) have it in spades. Shaq looks ready to give 15-20 a game at about 8-10 pts and 6-8 reb. You can't ask for much more then that from your back up. Speaking of backups
The story of the day is going to backups. I am going to list each and what they take to the floor. With both Quisy and JO getting the night off, I knew we're going to see plenty of the bench mob.
Erden- KID CAN PLAY. IQ out the wazu, soft hands and Smart with a capitol S. I saw him make some great High to low post passing. He could easy get 3-5 assists every game. He doesn’t force the shot, but has a nice one to fall back on when needed. 2008 last pick of the draft pick #60 Semih Erden, any one really impressed with this one now? I am!!
Natron- the natrix- Krytonate- what ever you call him, he will be our spark off the bench. He is starting to remind me of a young Jason Terry. If he keeps his defense 1st assignment he will do fine. Nate playing with 2 other players that can bring up the ball, D. West and Quisy will make him a better player. He can come off picks and shoot or drive and kick to either one of those players. Can you believe how much Quisy shot has improved? He didn't play Saturday night, but it is so much better I had to bring it up. I have always been in the Quisy camp since he signed; I am getting a lot of neighbors now ;).
GD- Uno-Uno. During his career I always thought, what would this kid do starting? From his 2nd to last year and last year in college he went from a 1st rounder to almost did not get drafted. DA was no fool and saw the talent like many times since and before. BBD for all purposes was the starter for Saturday’s game. While he was working I though for the 1st time ever, "you know when Kevin hangs ’em up, I will be ok with BBD as a starter with Rondo and Perk"(1 can hope right?). His hustle and grit cannot be questioned. His 1st shot was about 3 feet outside where he should be shooting. Next time the adjustments came and swish. Right spot, good timing perfect basketball play.
Luke "don’t call me sky walker" Harangody - limited time on the floor. The only reason I can come up with is that the kid has a spot on the team and Saturday was more for the "bubble" players like Lasme, Von Wafer and West.
Von Wafer, but it's only WAAAAAAFER thin. Von got his shots to fall on Saturday and you can see what the Celtic interest are with him. The 3's were under duress and he hit em any way. Best game I have seen Von play in a Celtic's uniform. Not quite the performance he gave when he was with the Rockets on 1/7/10. I would think the C's keep him until West can play.
Stephane Lasme, I went to ZOO MASS and got all of Camby records. Besides these two things I knew nothing about him except he did play in the NBA for a team or two. He never really got any good stretch of games where he could showcase his potential. If all things were created equal I would think this kid would get the last spot on the roster playing the Scal role- defend 3, 4's or 5's and don’t screw up too much. The only thing he needs is a nick name.
M. West - I was with my brother at the game and he hasn't been watching any of the preseason. I had to fill him in on Mario and a couple mentioned above. The only thing I could tell him was the last game I saw him in a player stole the ball from the Celtics and went to lay it in the basket on the other end. Then West went racing up behind him and pinned the lay up to the back board which was GREAT DEFENSE. When I finished my one liner about the guy almost on cue he gets his steal. My brother looked at me and said defense is good.
With Delonte being out the 1st couple of weeks I again would think that Danny will keep Von on, until West comes back. When that happens who knows who may be called upon to fill that spot. I like Lasme the most out of the last 3. Within the new rules about signing players to the D-League are still under your control. I would think DA will take full advantage over that and sign the 2 that don't make it to the Red Claws at least for now.
A week from tomorrow, let the blood bath begin. Everyone is picking the Heat and if there not picking the Heat then there picking the Lakers to three peat. Not one reporter or article that I have seen has given the Celtics a shot at winning the rubber match agianst the Lakers. Most think they wont make it out of the eastern confrence. You know what, I'm ok with that. I think that Ray, PP and KG feel disrespected and there out to prove that there not done, no not by a long shot. I am calling it now Celtics win opening day 102-86. #18- every journey starts with a single step.
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