The Celtics make the long trip down to Florida in their second preseason game taking on the Orlando Magic. It will be another opportunity for the team to get some live game action to knock off the rust before the upcoming season. After their one-point win over the Charlotte Hornets Sunday, the Celtics will look to continue their winning ways in Orlando.
This will actually be the fourth preseason game for the Magic. They have won their first three games and have been rolling in these early exhibitions. It is hard to pinpoint the reasoning behind their success, but it does suggest the Celtics will have some tough competition tonight. That is the most you can ask for early on especially with these young guys fighting for minutes and/or roster spots. Seeing them give it their all and fight each time they are on the court makes the preseason worth it.
One thing to watch for tonight with the Celtics is the return of Romeo Langford. Langford will be playing in his first game for the team after being out the past months with a thumb injury. It will be great to watch him back in action and prove to Celtics Nation why he was worth a lottery selection. He needs to ease back in to full strength and not try and prove too much in his first night. Check out our own Bill Sy’s article on Romeo Langford’s debut.
Another preseason story line to watch for tonight is the development at the center position for the Celtics. With Kanter seemingly relegated to the bench to start the regular season, the question now is who takes the starting spot at the 5. Robert Williams looks to have the advantage, but will that change as more minutes are played throughout these exhibitions? Another development will be the depth chart at the center position. Williams, Kanter, and Theis are all locked in, but the battle between Vincent Poirier and everyone’s favorite, Tacko Fall, will be interesting to watch and to see their progression with real time NBA minutes.
If there is a head-to-head match-up to watch tonight, it will be Enes Kanter vs. Nikola Vucevic. This may be a match-up right away if Williams is unavailable, but take note whenever these two are on the floor at the same time. It will highlight Kanter’s defensive game against a dominant big man in the league. The biggest worry and question mark with Kanter will be his defense all season long. Vucevic will be a nice early test for him right off the bat. He will be tested down low like an old-school center where his game may actually be more suited for. Kanter’s defensive instincts may need a bit of work, but the preseason is the perfect opportunity to iron out the kinks.
These preseason games ultimately come down to a self-evaluation more than the end result. It will be repetitions against live defenses getting back into the swing of NBA action. All in all, Celtics basketball is back, and it is great to have everyone back out there playing against real competition again. No matter the result tonight, everyone on the roster is improving and getting ready for the minutes that matter.
PG - Kemba Walker – D.J. Augustin
SG – Jaylen Brown – Michael Carter-Williams
SF – Gordon Hayward – Jonathan Isaac
PF – Jayson Tatum – Aaron Gordon
C – Robert Williams III – Nikola Vucevic
Boston – Robert Williams III (groin); Romeo Langford (Thumb/Groin); Daniel Theis (Hip)
Orlando- Chume Okeke (Knee); Melvin Frazier (Leg)
How to Watch
Time – 7:00 PM EST
TV – NBC Sports Boston