Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Now that the Celtics have lost to the Raptors 125-119 at home in preseason action, there’s no way they can possibly win the championship. How can a team climb out from this? It can’t be done. The dream is over. Maybe next year.
All kidding aside, the preseason doesn’t reveal too much, but it is fun to come out with steaming hot takes just for the heck of it.
In the spirit of silliness, here are five overreactions through two games:
1. Sam Hauser will lead the NBA in 3-point percentage.
OK, maybe this one isn’t too absurd. Hauser poured in 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting (5-of-8 from 3-point range) on Wednesday. That came after a 14-point performance on 5-of-6 shooting (4-of-5 from 3) on Sunday.
If you’re too lazy to do the math, that’s 68.4 percent from the field and 69.2 percent from distance. That’s rather impressive.
Hauser’s numbers will of course dip, but his mindset appears to be perfect. He really gives this team something it was missing last year. It would be a major surprise at this point if he doesn’t crack the regular season rotation.
When he’s out there with a bunch of the starters, he’s going to consistently get great looks and consistently make them. Keep getting him the rock.
Coach Mazzulla says Sam Hauser "works really hard, does a great job of playing off others, and takes what the defense gives him.”— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 6, 2022
2. Malcolm Brogdon will average 9 assists per game.
This probably won’t happen, but it’s not far-fetched to think he’ll average at least 6. Brogdon looks like he’s played with the Celtics for months.
He’s finding guys in ideal spots and setting them up for uncontested jumpers. He and Hauser have that Virginia connection going.
Brogdon has a good chance to lead the Celtics assists this season.
3. Grant Williams is one of the most reliable role players in the NBA.
It seems like whenever Williams comes on the floor, good things happen. It’s such a regular trend that it’s fair to say it’s not a coincidence.
Williams was plus-21 against the Hornets and added 8 points and 5 boards against the Raptors. He just always seems to give the Celtics exactly what they need at exactly the right moment.
He looks poised to take another leap. If they had an All-Star team for role players, he’d be on it.
4. Marcus Smart will continue to be full of surprises.
OK, this one isn’t that bold, but Smart looks like he’s having fun out there and feeling particularly dangerous.
The most Smart play of all against the Raptors was when he dove head-first and tried to corral the ball before Fred VanVleet picked it up. It didn’t work, but he was awfully close.
Marcus is in mid-season form with the fakes pic.twitter.com/aM9Ptbuyi7— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 6, 2022
He’s also taking some rather funky shots – leaners and fadeaways and such. He’ll keep us guessing, as he always does, and he might even try something new.
Maybe he’ll do the Calvin Cambridge and throw it off a dude’s back. Maybe he’ll pull a Jose Alvarado and hide the corner before lunging forward. Maybe he’ll hit a shot while sitting down.
Whatever it is, it’s coming. Expect the unexpected – even more than usual. He’s at his best when he’s playing free, and he appears to be doing just that.
5. Jaylen Brown makes an All-NBA team.
Yes, it’s just two preseason games, but he looks really in control and confident out there – as he was the bulk of last season. Those intermittently sloppy postseason games were outliers. He’s a way better player than that, and he’ll show it again this season.
It’s important to remember that without Brown, the Celtics wouldn’t have made The Finals. It really is that simple.
Jayson Tatum has some games where he drops 40 and others where he struggles. Brown is a steady presence almost every night. This is the year he gets his respect and is officially regarded as one of the best of the best in the NBA and he goes from fringe superstar to undisputed superstar.