The Celtics rested their high six gamers on Monday, and whereas Payton Pritchard and the reserves confirmed some enjoyable flashes, they fell 114-107 to the Knicks of their second preseason tune-up.
Listed below are the takeaways.
1. Why on earth did the Celtics have back-to-back video games within the preseason? And why are they taking part in three video games in 4 nights … adopted by six days off earlier than their closing two preseason video games? These contests are a possibility to get a have a look at gamers who might be low within the rotation, however the Celtics may additionally use an opportunity to construct some chemistry with the brand new gamers who will really play.
It’s simply tough to imagine that whoever designs the preseason schedule couldn’t have discovered a option to keep away from a three-games-in-four-nights stretch. Save that form of factor for the common season (or higher but, scale back the variety of regular-season video games till you may eradicate 3-in-4 stretches fully).
2. Payton Pritchard was wonderful as soon as once more, pouring in 21 factors on 7-for-15 capturing. At his greatest, Pritchard brings a stunning quantity of shot creation — he’s very artful and fast together with his deal with, he can get seemingly wherever he needs on the ground at any given time, and he even labored his option to the ring and snuck in a layup underneath Jericho Sims’s outstretched arms within the second half, flexing with a smirk as he ran again up the ground.
However Pritchard’s major contribution, in fact, is his skill to bomb away from deep.
Pritchard’s skill to have an effect on the sport positively when he doesn’t have the final word inexperienced mild may finally decide how helpful he’s off the bench for the Celtics this season – spot-up capturing will in all probability be the majority of his offensive accountability – however he’s clearly a strong participant who deserves the chance in entrance of him this yr.
3. After going 0-for-6 from 3-point vary (and from the ground general) within the preseason opener on Sunday, Sam Hauser went 2-for-9 from 3-point vary (and from the ground general) on Monday – a discouraging begin for the sharpshooter.
Clearly, we gained’t overreact to preseason capturing totals, however the sorts of seems Hauser has gotten to this point is perhaps one of many few issues that truly may translate from the preseason to the common season. Hauser was streaky final yr – his unbelievably scorching begin was quietly a serious contributor to the staff’s scorching begin, and when he cooled off, the Celtics wanted to transform their rotation a bit.
When Hauser is hitting pictures, the full-strength Celtics are a nightmare — he’s good at floating to open area whereas the play develops, and his teammates perceive the worth of his long-range capturing. However extra strain is on Hauser to be good this yr – the Celtics really want him to be a serious contributor on the wing behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. They’ll’t comfortably afford to observe him work via in depth chilly streaks.
4. May Svi Mykhailiuk steal a few of Hauser’s minutes? Mykhailiuk – who scored 11 of his 15 factors within the first half – has been an inconsistent shooter traditionally, however his alternatives in Boston might be among the better of his profession, and he’s rather more dynamic off the dribble.
Once more, although, Hauser’s 3-point shooter is a separator – not simply between himself and teammates competing for rotation slots, but in addition between the Celtics and different groups when he actually will get going. The expectation right here is that the backup wing minutes are Hauser’s to lose.
5. Rookie wing Jordan Walsh made his preseason debut on Monday and confirmed somewhat little bit of what so totally excited observers throughout the Las Vegas Summer season League. He’s a pest defensively who strikes his toes effectively, refuses to surrender on performs, and makes use of his size to his benefit. With 7:49 remaining within the second quarter, he made his greatest play of the night (and his first bucket of the preseason) when he stripped Julius Randle and dribbled the size of the ground for a layup.
Walsh has a methods to go earlier than he’s prepared for NBA rotation minutes. He traveled twice attempting to assault closeouts, missed his first 3-point try badly, and fired up a nasty try with the sport nonetheless considerably in attain down the road.
It’s, in fact, fully wonderful and regular for a 19-year-old to look out of his depth in his first NBA preseason sport. The little flashes Walsh confirmed have been greater than sufficient to stay optimistic about his potential.
6. Dalano Banton (presumably) stays on the surface wanting in on the Celtics’ rotation, however he scored 20 factors on 8-for-19 capturing on Monday regardless of going 0-for-5 from 3-point vary. At 6-foot-7, Banton’s skill to get the place he needs on the ground and end within the paint is a useful asset that helped the Celtics collapse the Knicks’ protection.
Banton has all the time struggled to shoot from deep, which is just too unhealthy – together with his talent set and peak, a 3-point shot would make him a rotation participant at worst with a a lot greater ceiling.
7. The Celtics have two gamers on their preseason roster who attended prep faculties in Western Massachusetts – Banton, who performed at each the MacDuffie Faculty in Granby and Redemption Christian Academy in Northfield, and Wenyen Gabriel, who performed for Wilbraham & Monson Academy earlier than committing to Kentucky.
The Celtics will tackle the Sixers in Philadelphia on Wednesday, as a result of why would the weary want any relaxation within the preseason? Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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