What a night it was for Boston Celtics fans as they finally got their first look at the reconstructed roster. Boston was able to take down the Charlotte Hornets by a final score of 82-94 Tuesday evening, and it seemed like they had improvement on all of the negatives from last season. Hopes are high for this fantastic level of play to continue.
Time to break down exactly what was revealed about the new-look Boston team:
Believe it or not, the Celtics were actually able to win the battle on the boards. Something that was extremely seldom just a year ago, and was costly late in close games. They topped the Hornets 52-47, with every member in green that played snagging at least one, with the exception of Shane Larkin.
Everyone was making a solid attempt to make a mark down low, and those efforts will pay off big time as the season progresses.
Boston also had some spurs-like ball movement over the course of the entire game, but the starting unit was especially impressive. They were able to out-assist Charlotte as well by a margin of +8.
One of the only negatives is there were times where even though players were making that all-important extra pass, the wide open looks refused to fall.
While this is certainly something I will keep my eye on, it is likely to be some first game jitters as both teams struggled. Both squads shot under 45% from the field, and the Celtics managed just a measly 7-13 from the charity stripe.
Impressive performances in unexpected places
If you would have told me 3 days ago that a team boasting super-star names such as Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward would be headlined by a first year NBA player named Daniel Theis, I would have laughed and question if it was April fools.
Theis led all Boston scorers with 12 points, and also netted 7 rebounds and 3 assists in just 14 minutes of action. Abdel Nader also raised some eyebrows by making four of his six shot attempts, putting up 10 points in only 11 minutes.
Finally, Marcus Smart, who lost 20 pounds during the off-season and added some serious muscle added a shooting touch as well, draining three treys. Each player who received at least three minutes put points on the board except for Guerschon Yabusele (shot 0-3).
If anything, this preseason game has made Celtics fans everywhere even more amped up about the upcoming 82 (and playoffs) than they already were. The second and third units were exhilarating to view, and we have barely even had a chance to get a look at the proven stars of the team.
It’s going to be a fun year, Boston fans.