Less than a day after downing the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics have headed to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks — well, some of them. All of the stars watched the first half from the bench as Boston’s top-6 had the night off with it being the second night of a back-to-back.
In their absence, fans have gotten a 24-minute look at the Celtics’ “other guys,” which is pretty important this time of year. So, here are a few hot takes for you as you wait for the break to wrap up.
Luke Kornet is officially on the hot seat
Last night, the Cs fanbase was none-too-pleased with the play of one Luke Kornet against Philly. He tallied just four points in 13 minutes and had the lowest plus/minus on the team with a -12.
Tonight, he’s logged another -12 in just one half of play.
On top of his lackluster start, Kornet also has Neemias Queta now breathing down his neck for extra minutes. The Portuguese big man made his preseason debut for the Cs in the absence of both Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis and I’ll tell you what, he caught my eye. In just nine minutes, he piled up seven points, three rebounds (all offensive!!), and a block off of Boston’s bench. On top of that, he helped the Celtics outscore New York by 12 in his short minutes.
Neemias Queta with the putback pic.twitter.com/CQpmMQjRPH— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) October 10, 2023
Sam Hauser might be finished
Before I knew that Jayson Tatum would be sitting out tonight, I thought that this section might be dedicated to him. Instead, it looks like it’s going to Sam Hauser, who all of a sudden can’t make threes.
Hauser’s claim to fame is his reliability from long range. For his career, he’s drilled 42% of his attempts from beyond the arc.
His 1-of-11 start to the preseason isn’t the best way to ring in the new year — especially when it was shaping up to be one where he takes on a larger role.
To make matters worse for Boston’s No. 30, Svi Mykhailiuk might’ve been the best player on the floor in the first half. The Ukranian sharpshooter came out firing and poured in a team-high 11 points. After missing the entire opener, he looked confident, under control, and ready to take a bite out of Hauser’s minutes going forward.
Davison ➡️ Mykhailiuk pic.twitter.com/hjkk0MUHCb— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) October 10, 2023
Lamar Stevens is ready to be a real Celtic
Who was it, Pinocchio, who wanted to be a real boy? Well, Lamar Stevens sort of has the same goal as looks to earn a full-time spot with the Celtics in these preseason appearances.
Through a game and a half, count me all the way in on Stevens. He was able to make an impact in Sunday’s win over Philly, and he’s carried over his grit and energy into tonight’s matchup in New York.
Lamar Stevens defends with the type of intensity you love to see from a depth wing pic.twitter.com/mhNgoV3Ors— Pull up shoot (@NElGHT_) October 10, 2023
He’s put in a great shift defensively and also looks somewhat comfortable on the other end. Stevens loves to go to the little fall-away jumper in the paint after getting himself inside, which could prove to a nice weapon if he earns real minutes this season.