1. Olynyk's Homecooking - It was nice to see Kelly Olynyk search for his shot and not defer for the pass. Although he's an incredibly gifted passer for a big man, KO's hands have soft touch, probably because he's basically Jesus. Seriously though, he shot 6-7 from the field tonight and every made basket resembled you know who (hint: not Adam Morrison). Comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki are certainly premature because well, it's the preseason. Even still, I think tonight's game allowed for a sense of relief, seeing Olynyk knock down his shots and become more aggressive. On top of that, he managed to pull in 9 boards but fouled out for the second straight game. Continuing to learn coach Brad Stevens' defense will help keep him in the game, but defense might be his weak spot heading into his rookie year.
2. GuardJam - The wealth of minutes between Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford, Marshon Brooks, and Phil Pressey was distributed much more evenly than games before. So close, in fact, that all five players played between 19 and 23 minutes. As far a productivty goes -- we've got another story. Pressey shot poorly, he missed all seven shots. MarShon Brooks caught fire in the fourth and scored 17. Avery Bradley continued to stay lukewarm on offense while maintaining his elite defense. Courtney lee struggled to find a shot, but produced an impressive five assists; tying Pressey for the team high. Lastly, Jordan Crawford somehow managed to attempt just five(!) shots, hitting two. With only a few games before the seasons starts, it looks like the starters will be probably be Bradley and Lee. However, MarShon proved he can contribute instant offense much in the style of Jordan Crawford. Are both of these guys going to be around long, or will one's emergence make the other disposable? My money is on Brooks, I think he has a ton of potential.
3. Mix and Match The Bigs - Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger started the game for the C's. Combined, they shot just 6-17, with most attempts (and misses) coming from Sully. Jared looks decent, but still might be a few steps behind, we've even heard it from the guy himself. Hopefully he continues to lose his extra weight and get back to game shape. Also, the Brad Stevens' three-point-greenlight has shined brightests in Sullinger's eyes, as he continues to chuck and miss from beyond the arc. I wouldn't be upset if that came to an end sometime soon. As starters, Bass and Sullinger combined for eight rebounds and two assists.
For the first time this preseason, we got to see a frontcourt dominate a stretch of basketball. Enter the Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani backcourt. In the second quarter against the Raptors, Faverani and Olynyk torched Toronto, forcing the issue in the post and speeding up the game to the Celtics' advantage. Olynyk scored in double digits during the second (finishing with 13), and Faverani followed suit, scoring 13 points with 5 boards. My question here is, how much tinkering will we see in games to come? We have solid and experienced big men in Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass, but I'd prefer to see the players with the biggest upside play. I want Olynyk playing with Faverani and Sullinger (...when he gets back in shape). Hopefully the feelings to win early and prove his worth won't stop coach from continuing to experiment.
The loss was a bummer, because it seems like we're foreshadowing exactly whats to come in the regular season. Play hard, keep it close, but eventually lose the game. Moral victories all around...Thoughts?