Not even the most ardent advocates for the Celtics needing a big man like Andre Drummond would concede they’ve seen nights like this one. Steven Adams held Daniel Theis in front of him like a cartoon bully as he practiced a flat-footed hook shot. It marked one of Adams’ few misses inside during a route for the Thunder on Friday.
He scored 17 points and grabbed seven boards in the first half on the way to Oklahoma City’s 98-84 win.
The Celtics face another test of both exterior slashing, as they will in all their scrimmages, along with another interior force in Deandre Ayton today. He scored 26 points with 15 rebounds and two blocks as the steadily successful No. 1 pick overshadowed by an even greater force in Luka Doncic from his class.
In my debut of “Watch the Breakdown,” an hour of film in less than 10 minutes, I got into the zone looks the Celtics countered to try to slow Adams. I also dug further into Tremont Waters’ bench contributions and where Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum thrived and faltered in their return. Gordon Hayward’s sets also showed success in a game where both teams clearly kept it simple.
As a viewer told me correctly, teams aren’t throwing the kitchen sink out there during these scrimmages. In fact, Brad Stevens advocated unsuccessfully for scrimmages focused on certain sets behind closed doors. But we all know why they’re in Orlando in the first place: that sweet TV money.
I’ll be reviewing Celtics film conversationally every game night during this NBA return, so subscribe to my channel and stay tuned to CelticsBlog for more of them. Thanks for reading and listening and I always welcome your feedback.