One of the all-around stars of the day yesterday was David Lee. He was all over the place, driving into the lane and kicking it out for open looks, starting the fast break, and scoring for himself.
It was only fair to wonder if David Lee would be a good fit when the team had young bigs to develop and Lee hadn't played consistently in a year. But it seems like Danny Ainge has found a guy that Brad Stevens is going to be able to utilize very effectively.
"He thinks the game real well," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of the 6-foot-9 forward. "He had a productive day and fits well into what we are trying to do." Lee scored 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting in just 21 minutes. Yet in those 21 minutes, he was a team-high plus-22 and also had seven rebounds and three assists. "I felt real comfortable out there; my teammates have a great basketball IQ," Lee said. "It made things so much easier. All I have to do is go out and play. Our system is wide-open. You just have to make plays, and I think tonight we did that."
We all knew the guy could score and rebound from his days in New York and Golden State, but his passing has been a pleasant surprise as well.
"I grew kinda late, so I was a point guard my freshman year of high school," he said. "I’ve always been a guy who’s played outside some. And when I played for Mike D’Antoni a little bit in New York, I was asked to do that quite a bit. ... I’ve always kind of had that as a part of my game, and I think it’s something that Coach wants to utilize."
Pace and space doesn't always mean "3 point shooting bigs." It also requires players at every position knowing how to use space on the floor properly and when the move the ball to maximize your advantages. Lee is an effective veteran player that has learned from a lot of good coaches and should be able to translate his skills well into the Stevens system.