1. The Boston Celtics sat lots of rotation regulars in opposition to the Charlotte Hornets. Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Good all sat out of the beginning group, whereas Malcolm Brogdon was additionally given the night time off. Mfiondu Kabengele was additionally off, maybe cementing his standing as a Two-Manner participant.
But, regardless of the absences, the Celtics nonetheless managed the sport by early within the third quarter. Boston is deep with productive gamers. There are many guys who can step in and play a job when others are out. That depth will likely be vital through the common season, particularly after an extended playoff run. As well as, with a number of veterans and a few gamers getting back from damage, Joe Mazzulla may go in some relaxation days. That’s the place the depth will actually present up.
2. So far, Derrick White has began all three preseason video games. With out locking into something, it looks like there’s a good likelihood White will likely be a part of the beginning group on opening night time. His defensive versatility and ball motion is a pleasant addition to the present starters. White has additionally knocked down 5-of-12 three-pointers within the preseason, exhibiting improved type on his jumper.
White additionally brings a fairly versatile scoring recreation. This nifty up-and-under acquired issues began for Boston:
The Celtics need to push tempo this 12 months. That’s been a preseason emphasis. That fits White’s recreation very nicely, as he’s excellent at attacking the rim like this within the open flooring:
3. Once more, with out locking into something, it looks like Noah Vonleh has a really sturdy case for a roster spot with Boston to open the season. The Celtics want some extra depth up entrance, and Vonleh has performed nicely all through coaching camp. He acquired the beginning in opposition to the Hornets and made probably the most of it.
First off, it’s good to see Sam Hauser make a play as a passer off the display recreation. Then Vonleh does a great job getting his left shoulder into Mason Plumlee to create house for the soar hook:
As soon as once more, White pushes tempo right here. Vonleh fills the lane and reveals good ability and composure to take the dribble earlier than spinning into the lefty end on the basket:
Vonleh completed with 14 factors and 13 rebounds. He’s made the strongest case for a roster spot out of any of the camp invitees.
4. Jaylen Brown performed (to maintain his rhythm in line with Joe Mazzulla) and scored a simple 19 factors. His three-pointer appears nearly as good proper now because it ever has. This can be a good display and re-screen for Brown by Noah Vonleh, and Brown finally ends up with the four-point play:
5. Grant Williams has proven elevated confidence in his off-the-dribble recreation within the preseason. If he attracts a slow-footed large, like he does Mason Plumlee right here, Williams can assault that mismatch. That is good things to attract the and-1:
Boston misplaced an enormous who might assault mismatches when Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL. If Williams can carry over this form of play to the common season, Boston might have one other technique to assault switching defenses.
6. Blake Griffin made his Celtics debut. He seemed a bit of rusty early on, however that’s to be anticipated. It’s going to take a bit for Griffin to get his timing down along with his new group. However he seemed good bodily and did a pleasant job screening, transferring the ball and on the boards.
This shot goes to be there for Griffin. Boston’s scoring weapons will open issues up for him. Griffin simply has to knock them down:
7. Sam Hauser acquired the beginning and did what he’s finished all preseason lengthy: he made threes. Hauser can also be holding his personal defensively. He’s not a great defender, however with Boston normally taking part in anyplace from three to 4 wonderful defenders, Hauser will likely be advantageous. He simply has to work laborious and be energetic.
There are far much less worries concerning the offensive finish. So far, Hauser has finished most of his work as a spot-up shooter. This can be a good instance of good timing to tip out the rebound earlier than relocating for the nook three. Additionally, Hauser does an amazing job of catching and getting sq. rapidly for the triple:
8. The potential end-of-bench roster battle was ugly in opposition to the Toronto Raptors. The gamers combating for a roster spot struggled mightily as Boston gave away an enormous lead and misplaced.
This time round, lots of these gamers had been higher. Jake Layman noticed early run and delivered. Whereas the document scratch isn’t nice (Layman must believe to tug the shot with out hesitating), hitting the jumper is important for Layman to have a shot at a roster spot:
9. Justin Jackson was a large number in opposition to Toronto. He actually, actually struggled. It was a whole 180 in opposition to Charlotte for Jackson. Jackson hit 4-of-8 from deep, together with three consecutive possessions the place he knocked down triples. This was the final of the bunch, as Jackson confidently stepped into his shot right here:
(As an apart: This was one in every of Payton Pritchard’s seven assists. He’s finished a pleasant job operating the offense this preseason vs being merely an off-ball shooter).
For any of the blokes battling for a roster spot, they should defend. For those who can’t maintain your personal defensively, the Celtics gained’t play you, and will not preserve you. Performs like this one from Jackson present he’s prepared to work on the defensive finish of the court docket:
10. The Celtics have per week off between their third and fourth, and remaining, preseason recreation. That’s invaluable observe time for Joe Mazzulla. Ideally, Luke Kornet will likely be again within the combine, and Blake Griffin will get a number of reps along with his new group too.
It’s additionally the final likelihood for the camp gamers to point out they deserve extra consideration. Lots of them will land in Maine, however that’s advantageous. They’ll be solely a stone’s throw away if wanted.
Don’t be shocked if Boston makes some roster strikes previous to Friday’s preseason finale. Groups don’t all the time carry the total complement of 20 gamers into the ultimate exhibition, and the Celtics are additionally touring to Montreal to face the Raptors. That’s a further little bit of a complication to take care of, being that they need to cross the border. It’s doable we might see some cuts coming this week.