The Boston Celtics finally started the preseason this week with a home matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.
While the result of this game was unimportant, the Celtics did pull out the 92-84 win, and fans got their first look at new players such as Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum.
Power forward Daniel Theis led the team in scoring with 12 points in 14 minutes. Irving and Hayward, both sitting out the second half, scored 9 points and 5 points, respectively. Rookie Jayson Tatum had a strong debut, with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 33 minutes of play.
“We’re building a foundation,” Irving told reporters after the game. “We understand that a few other teams that we’re playing against, they’re starting from the bottom as well…For us, we gotta take advantage of games like this.”
Improvements in rebounding
The Celtics were one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, ranking 26th out of the 30 teams. Last season, the only two Celtics to average at least five rebounds per game were Al Horford and Jae Crowder, the latter of whom is still now on the Cleveland Cavaliers. This year, this needs to be something the team improves upon, and the stats appear positive after one preseason game. Against the Hornets, Theis had seven rebounds, Horford and Guerschon Yabusele had six rebounds each, and Hayward, Aron Baynes and Tatum had five rebounds a piece. These numbers aren’t through the roof, but in the limited preseason minutes they are clearly an improvement over the horrific rebounding that plagued the team last year.
Morris acquitted in assault case
Power forward Marcus Morris, as well as his brother Markieff, were acquitted by a jury in Phoenix to conclude their aggravated assault case that dates back to 2015. Both brothers were playing for the Phoenix Suns at the time of the accusation, but Marcus was acquired this offseason by the Celtics from the Pistons as a part of the Avery Bradley trade. Morris can return to the team and play against the 76ers in Philadelphia on Oct. 6.
The Celtics are back in action, continuing their preseason slate, Friday, Oct. 6, on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Next 7 days at a glance
Monday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. vs Philadelphia 76ers
Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. at Charlotte Hornets