A strong 3rd quarter led to an easy Celtics win over the Knicks. They extended a 2 point into 13 and never relinquished it. Aggressive defense from the Celtics pressured the Knicks into 28 turnovers in this game. The trio of Bradley, Smart, and Pressey were very effective at hassling New York's guards into bad decisions.
The Celtics shot 48% for the game against a mediocre Knicks defense. Boston only shot 68% from the line, but it didn't matter as they easily handled New York.
Jared Sullinger was the star of the game, scoring 23 points on 9/12 shooting. He even made all 3 of his shots from beyond the arc, which is very encouraging. He only totaled 5 rebounds in his 23 minutes, but his scoring makes up for that.
Olynyk had a fairly quiet game, but played well. He added 12 points on efficient shooting. He and Sullinger actually made 5/8 of their 3 point attempts, which makes for a dangerous front-court if that continues.
Marcus Smart was much improved, with 11 points and 2 threes to go along with his aggressive defense. His shot was falling tonight, so hopefully that continues this season.
Evan Turner had another strong game. He's able to use his shifty dribble moves to generate shots for himself and his teammates. He should provide a great source of secondary ballhandling once Rondo gets back.
Tyler Zeller was much more aggressive in this game, although he struggled with finishing inside. He did have some nice passes though. In the 1st quarter he found a cutting Gerald Wallace leading to a foul. This of course prompted Tommy to unleash his optimistic outlook on Wallace, which is always nice to hear.
Marcus Thornton was a bit hit and miss. As expected, he is still struggling on defense. Tim Hardaway Jr. in particular lit him up late in the first quarter. He did heat up in the third with a quick 7 points. His scoring ability off the bench looks like it will be a nice asset this year.
Even if it's only preseason, it's good to see a win like this. If they can keep up the strong 3 point shooting and tenacious defense, this could be a fun season to watch.