Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
It's been 88 days since that stinging Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat back in June. The Celtics have reassembled, retooled, recovered, and reloaded for another championship run with one of their deepest and most talented teams in years. Tonight is game 1 to #18.
Shortly headed to the arena for my first game in a year 1/2...can't explain how good it feels to be back, still work to do but good 2 b back— Jeff Green (@unclejeffgreen) October 5, 2012
It's game day. We've all been itching to see what the new Celtics team looks like, trying to get a little sneak peek from every little snippet from practice and reading between the lines of every players' quote. Even though tonight's game against Fenerbahce Ulker isn't against the Heat or the Lakers, it'll help erase the memory of losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to Miami and watching Ray Allen join them this summer. It'll give us a chance to catch up with all the young guys that we fell in love with in summer league and see how the vets have influenced them in camp. We'll get to see Jason Terry and Courtney Lee light it up from the perimeter and Darko Milicic and Jason Collins battling under the boards. It'll be Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox's triumphant returns after both recovered from heart surgery. And finally, it's going to be great to see Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett back on the floor after we all endured a summer of some uncertainty.
According to Celtics.com, Doc has an idea of what the rotation will look like with the vets:
However, just because this is a real game experience doesn't mean it will simulate what the Celtics will look like on Oct. 30 when they open the regular season against the Miami Heat. Rivers has a plan regarding rotations and playing time, and those plans are unlikely to match what we'll see in the regular season.
"Just the starters and the veterans, I know how many minutes they're going to play," said Rivers. "But the young guys, we'll just throw them out there and see how it goes."
Based on some practice reports, it sounds like the coaching staff has pitted the normal rotation guys vs. the rookies plus the training camp invitees, but I'd love to see some mixing and matching at Ulker Sports Arena tonight. Even though it probably won't mirror what will happen in the regular season, it would be interesting to see how Dionte Christmas plays alongside Rondo or what Fab Melo can do with Garnett barking out the defensive rotations. For what it's worth, I've been throwing in the young guys with the vets in NBA 2K13 and they've filled in admirably.
Celtics fans chant "Let's go Celtics!" for four minutes to end Game 6 (via OUOutreach)