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Celtics Stock Up/Stock down: Weekend Report

Keeping tabs on the Celtics players during preseason.

NBA: Preseason-Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Thomas: (Stock: Don’t worry about it)

Key Stats: 3P%: 46.2, FTA: 3.2, 10.8ppg

Thomas hasn’t played great, but I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. His shooting has been lights out, but it’s clear that at times he’s just going through the motions. His most exciting moments have been from the bench where he’s been cheering on his teammates:

And having a little bit of fun with the away crowd:

Avery Bradley: (Stock: Elevating)

Key Stats: 11.8ppg, 3.8rpg, 3.0apg

Bradley has been awesome this preseason. We know he can shoot, but his creating ability looks like a serious weapon this year. In the first quarter against the Knicks, Bradley showed an ability to get to the rim, score off the dribble, and continue to be his usual self defensively. Bradley becoming a two-way player raises the potential of this already promising starting unit.

Jae Crowder: (Stock: Same)

Key Stats: 3P%: 44.4%, 2.4apg, 1.2spg

Crowder has continued to be a consistent force. His shooting has been great, and his defense remains otherworldly. In Saturday night’s game against the Knicks, Crowder absolutely blanketed Melo forcing him to a slow start. The addition of Horford could be huge for Crowder who was a near 40% shooter when taking open 3s. These type of attempts will become the norm during the season.

Amir Johnson: (Stock: Steady)

Key Stats: Net Rtg: 25.1, TS%: 57.1

Johnson continues to be a steady force. He defends, he rebounds, and he continues to make the smart play. He compliments the starting unit fine as another defensive unit that can have Thomas’s back.

Al Horford: (Stock: Rising)

Key Stats: Net Rtg: 37.4, TRB%: 21.2, EFG%: 67.7

Horford continues to absolutely destroy the preseason. He leads the team in PER, Effective FG%, Rebound rate, defensive rating, Floor Impact Counter, and Points Per shot. Give him too much space, and he’ll punish you:

While working from the mid-post, he’s able to keep his head up, and create for others.

And if you make the mistake of stealing the ball from him, he’s coming to hunt you down.

Horford has been fitting right in during his time with the Celtics, and in limited minutes he’s already shown his ability to elevate the level of his teammates around him.

Marcus Smart: (Stock: slightly rising)

Key Stats: Net Rtg: 14.2, Spg: 2.0, 10.2ppg

Smart’s three-point shooting remains lacking (17.6% on 3.4 attempts), but he has continued to improve other parts of his game. Smart has developed into a strong pick-and-roll guard whose vision has continued to be under the radar.

Though Smart hasn’t been able to connect from three, he’s been good from the midrange and in attacking the paint which has allowed him to still be effective offensively. The Celtics seemed to using Smart as the primary ball handler this weekend, and he’s looked quite impressive writing the second unit.

Terry Rozier: (Stock: Up)

Key Stats: 3P%: 55.6, Net Rtg: 21.7, Ast%: 21.7

Rozier has continued to be impressive. Though I have some reservations as to his ability to be the primary ball handler on the second unit, his confidence on the offensive end has been great to see, and his scoring looks like it’ll translate to the second level.

As long as he keeps making plays like this, he’ll be a major contributor to the Celtics’ second unit.

Gerald Green: (Stock: buckets)

Key Stats: 9.7ppg, Usg %: 29.1, PER: 20.5

Green has one job: come in and get buckets. Right out of the gates on Saturday night, Green stayed true to his role on his first possession:

With a second unit filled with young guys still trying to find their place, Green will have an important role as a microwave scorer. So far he’s looked up to the task.

Jaylen Brown: (Stock: Optimistically rising)

Key Stats: MPG: 23.2, FTA: 3.2, FG%: 40.5, 27.5 FIC, 21.7 AST%

Brown has been an interesting case study. People have attached the raw tag to him, which I partly agree with. It’s true that he still can’t shoot, has had a hard time defensively, and has struggled on the line a bit. On the other hand, he’s been able to get the rim at will, has shown an underrated passing ability, and has defended multiple positions. That Brown leads the team in minutes is a bit of a clue that the Celtics want to get him as many minutes as possible in preparation for a possible rotation spot. At this stage, Brown is good enough to get on the court right now, which is good because he’ll need time on the court to get better. This weekend Brown showed off some of that elite skill set that made him a top-3 pick. With the game on the line in Brooklyn, Brown made one of his best passes to a streaking Mickey

Then on Saturday night, Brown showed his two-way prowess with a great block than advanced finish on the other end:

It’s not going to be all great for Brown, but he’ll be fun to follow as he continues to learn how to play in the NBA.

Jonas Jerebko: (Stock: dropping, but still valuable)

Key Stats: TS%: 51.6, Net Rtg: -5.4, PER 8.2

Jerebko had a good game against the Nets in which he went 3-4 from beyond the arc, and he showed some of that contagious energy to which we’ve grown accustomed. However, he followed that up with a 2-point, 17-minute game against the Knicks. This continues to be a rough preseason for Jerebko—his 16.5mpg are only slightly above James Young, and his shooting has been putrid, especially within the arc. Jerebko still figures to be part of the rotation, but as Brown gets more experience as a 4, he might change Jerebko’s role from everyday rotation guy to specific-situation.

Tyler Zeller: (Stock: Eh)

Key Stats: Net Rtg: -6.6, TS% 47.8, PER 8.9


Zeller continues to be Zeller: consistently below average, and always going up weak. We won’t be seeing him much when Olynyk returns, and best believe he’ll be packaged if Celtics look to make a trade.

Demetrius Jackson: (Stock: Rising)

Key Stats: 3P%: 66.7, FG%: 50%, 5.2ppg

Jackson’s been getting some garbage-time minutes, but he’s looked great in those spurts. He has 28 PER, a 32.7 assist percentage, and though he hasn’t played enough for those minutes to qualify, it’s testament to how well he’s played. Jackson has been lights-out from three as well which bodes well for his insurance policy potential if one of the guards go out.

Jordan Mickey: (Stock: Cautiously up)

Key Stats: DRB%: 28.1, Net Rtg: 2.4, eFG%: 52.2%

Mickey had a strong performance against Brooklyn and was solid against the Knicks. He’s made a commitment to try and attack the boards more and has been effective in his limited time. Mickey has the ability to attack closeouts and guard on the perimeter, but he needs to show that he can consistently hit shots from outside if he wants to separate himself from a guy like Jonas Jerebko.

R.J Hunter: (Stock: Quickly Rising)

Key Stats: TS%: 61.0, Net Rtg: 15.3, 18.8 PER

For most of the preseason, Hunter hasn’t always been great, and the fact that Young continued to get in the games before he did seemed to mean he was losing the camp battle as well. However, Hunter may have won himself the last roster spot with his performance against the Knicks. Hunter attacked the rim with purpose, made some great plays defensively, and finally showed off the three-point range. Though Hunter is probably going to be sent to Maine if he is the one who makes the team, it’ll be important for him to make the most of his time to improve. Green is only on a one-year deal, and he could be in line to take that role next year.

James Young: (Stock: Goodluck in Philly!)

Key Stats: MPG: 15.5, 3P%: 44.4, PER 8.9

Young hasn’t been horrible, but he hasn’t done much that would really make you think he deserves a spot on the team. However, he’s shown some added fight that he hadn’t before, and if a team has the patience to give him minutes, he may have proven worth the minor investment. The play below shows the type of maturity that Young has been showing throughout the preseason. Knowing that he’s in a direct battle to make the team with Hunter, Young chose to make the right play for the team rather than make the right play for himself and take a contested shot. If you’re team is looking for a wing and is rebuilding (hey, Sixers), Young could be a perfect fit.

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