What do we know about our Celtics so far? Well, not much really. I mean, we've only had 6 preseason games to base any kind of judgements on and doing so is highly suspect. For all the obvious reasons preseason should be taken with grains of salt the size of Gibraltar.
With that said (note: I think I use the phrase "with that said" too much - I may need to work on my game this preseason as well) we had no hard evidence at all at the beginning of training camp. Only preconceived perceptions based on historical data and best guesses.
A lot of that has proven true. We still have an unbalanced, inexperienced roster with some upside. Our coach certainly seems bright and thoughtful. The returning players are mostly what we thought they were.
Still, there are some things that have been a bit of a surprise. I feel like I've had to re-evaluate a few of my assumptions. Here are a few.
Stand-in point guard: My original hope was that Phil Pressey would impress so much that he could start until Rondo was ready to go. Admittedly that was more a fear of seeing Avery Bradley run the point (and potentially messing up his development at the 2 guard spot) than it was about confidence in Pressey. However, with the logjam at shooting guard, it did make sense to use Bradley as a de-facto point guard as long as the offense wasn't geared too much toward the point guard setting up the play.
What I didn't expect was to see Jordan Crawford fill in at the point so adequately. I'm not going to say that he's a long term solution at the point, but as a band-aid platoon solution he's growing on me. He can dribble and pass and when plays break down he's not shy about looking for his own bail-out shot. We'll have to see how things go when the regular season starts and we're running an actual offense and other teams are trying harder. But so far, not-so-bad.
Small Forward: I've had Jeff Green written down in magic marker as the starting 3 since the day Paul Pierce was traded. I've still got him at the top spot, but now it is written in pencil (had to start a new piece of paper). Gerald Wallace has simply outplayed Green thus far. Wallace has the albatross contract and presumably we'd love to trade him for just about anything in return, but the guy can still play and you have to respect his hustle.
Green has shown gradual, slow progress but has yet to have a confidence boosting game. I think we've spent enough time psychoanalyzing him so I won't waste your time on that this morning. I'll just say that when the games start, we'll finally see what we get with Green.
Bigs rotation: I guess I assumed that Jared Sullinger would take some time to get healthy and back into shape and Kelly Olynyk would have the typical rookie learning curve. I assumed that Bass and Humphries would get the early nod in the rotation based on their seniority.
However, Jared Sullinger has forced his way into the starting conversation and Kelly Olynyk has largely picked up where he left off in summer league. We might still start off with season with the vets, but sooner or later I think you'll see the young guys in the starting lineup (with Olynyk playing kind of a stretch-5 position).
As a wild card bonus, Vitor Faverani has been a very pleasant surprise. As long as we keep our expectations managed, I think he'll be a great rotation option for this team. Plus he's just so fun to root for. I'm toying with the idea of calling him "Trogdor the Burninator!"
Granted, all of these "lessons" might be moot starting the first game of the season. But at least I feel like the picture is starting to come a little more into focus.
What about you? What has surprised you about this preseason?