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3 things to watch for against the Charlotte Hornets

Preseason game 3 for the Boston Celtics

Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Preseason isn’t exactly the highest stakes, but there’s still things to watch for. Here’s what I’ll be keeping my eye on as the Boston Celtics play the Charlotte Hornets tonight.

Less is More

I know that it is valuable to have the top of the rotation getting reps together on the court, but at some point you have to trust that they can pick up on each others tendencies throughout the early portion of the regular season. So you may see some of the starters either getting a quick hook or getting the night off entirely.

Jaylen Brown looks like he’s ready for the Finals to start again. Jayson Tatum’s shot isn’t there yet, but everything else looks fantastic. Al Horford has nothing left to prove to anyone and it should be a priority for Mazzulla to get him situational rest whenever possible. Marcus Smart has no speed between zero and 100 mph, so I wouldn’t mind giving him a few extra minutes on the bench to be more of a coach and less of a human wrecking ball in a game with nothing on the line.

Digging for Diamonds

As we discussed in the Tuesday Topic column, there are 5 training camp invites competing for one or maybe two roster spots. Against the Raptors, 13 guys got minutes (though Noah Vonleh only got 3 minutes). Jake Layman and Luka Samanic were both DNP’s.

It seemed like the team wanted to give Brodric Thomas and Justin Jackson extended looks. They did not impress. They were a combined 0-7 from 3 and 0-10 from the floor overall. Single game plus/minus doesn’t always tell the whole story, but they came into the game with a large lead, posted a -15 each, and left with a loss. Better luck next time guys.

Roll out the Kia

Blake Griffin is now officially signed and has had a chance to go through a few practices and walk-throughs. Will we finally see him take the court as a member of the Celtics? Allow me to be the latest to temper expectations with Blake. He will not be jumping over Kias or dropping 25 points a game in any multiverse. But he’s a veteran who’s been in big pressure situations in the past and won’t flinch if he’s called upon to step in if necessary. He might even be able to eat up some early season minutes while we wait for Robert Williams to recover. He’s also apparently a good guy in the locker room. So let’s see him get on the court with these guys.

What did I miss? What else are you looking for tonight?

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