The Celtics (sans Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) routed the 76ers (sans Joel Embiid and James Harden) on Wednesday, enhancing to 2-1 within the preseason with a 112-101 victory.
Listed below are the takeaways.
1. After taking off Monday’s sport in opposition to the Knicks, the Celtics’ regulars (once more, other than Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown) returned the ground, they usually regarded significantly better of their second at-bat. Jrue Vacation turned the ball over twice, however he scored 11 factors on tidy 5-for-7 capturing and dished out a pair of assists. Derrick White scored 11 factors as effectively, dished out 4 fairly assists and — maybe most notably — reminded everybody that he’s the NBA’s finest shot-blocking guard with three. Kristaps Porzingis bullseye’d each of his 3-point makes an attempt, together with one from excessive above the highest of the important thing, and completed with 11 factors and 5 rebounds.
Porzingis, Vacation and White all sat out the second half, however the ball motion and manufacturing within the first half left a really encouraging impression, particularly if Celtics followers are daydreaming about what it would seem like with Tatum and Brown.
2. The Celtics had been white-hot from 3-point vary within the first half, ending 12-for-24 from deep with 15 assists on their 23 whole area targets. The ball zipped across the perimeter, and the Celtics’ shooters continued to seek out lots of open house in opposition to a stretched, burdened protection.
Within the third quarter, the barrage continued — the Celtics opened up a double-digit lead that expanded going into the fourth. By the point the shooters cooled off, the injury was completed and the Celtics cruised the remainder of the best way.
The Celtics have the personnel to create lots of wide-open 3-pointers. On the nights when the 3-pointers fall, they need to as soon as once more be basically unstoppable on the offensive finish.
3. Payton Pritchard regarded nice once more, ending with 17 factors in 24 minutes regardless of a (comparatively) quiet night time from deep (3-for-9). The chatter popping out of camp about his preparation was clearly justified, and the one query remaining is how a lot he’ll truly play when the common season rolls round, however he seems to be like a lock for the rotation.
4. Dalano Banton has had a pleasant preseason, however he dedicated a cardinal sin — one thing Joe Mazzulla takes very seriously — on the primary play of the second half when he took too lengthy to dive onto a unfastened ball. Mazzulla instantly despatched a substitute to the scorers desk and pulled Banton apart as he walked off the ground to berate him.
Banton didn’t return to the ground till late within the third quarter. He completed the sport scoreless in 16 minutes — a tough consequence for a participant who impressed in earlier video games.
5. Coming into camp, Neemias Queta appeared like an extended shot to earn constant minutes given his relative inexperience and the sheer quantity of expertise the Celtics must make time for on their roster.
From purely a numbers standpoint, that is still the case. Nonetheless, Queta has been one of many extra promising gamers in the course of the preseason — an enormous physique who can transfer effectively, discover open areas across the rim, set large picks and (most significantly) rebound the ball on a staff that may wrestle on the glass all through the season. On Wednesday, Queta was a dependable pick-and-roll goal each for Payton Pritchard and JD Davison, and he completed with 10 factors and three boards in simply eight minutes.
Luke Kornet is established throughout the group, and Wenyen Gabriel has some expertise as a hustling large man on the NBA stage, however throughout preseason play, Queta has been probably the most promising middle outdoors of Porzingis and Horford.
6. As soon as once more, Svi Mykhailiuk regarded like a participant the Celtics might use on the full-time roster, and at this level, he appears very prone to make the reduce. He dished out a couple of good passes, obtained to the rim, knocked down a few powerful mid-range jumpers, and went 3-for-4 from deep en route to fifteen factors.
Sam Hauser caught hearth as effectively from past the arc and dropped 15 factors as effectively, burying 4 of his 9 3-point makes an attempt — the form of sky-scraping parabolas that made him one of the crucial harmful bench gamers of October and November final yr.
The Celtics discover themselves in a pleasant place going into the season with their back-up wings — a number of potential contributors have proven flashes in the course of the preseason, with a spread of talent units for various conditions.
This coaching camp roster could be very deep. No matter cuts the Celtics are compelled to make gained’t be simple.
7. We stay comparatively excessive on JD Davison’s basketball future, whether or not he performs for the Celtics or one other staff down the road. Davison has nice timing as a passer — inventive, affected person, and continuously conscious popping out of the pick-and-roll. His athleticism makes him harmful when he explodes off the display, and his energy makes him tough to strip.
Davison’s capturing continues to be his swing talent, and it’s unclear whether or not he has improved in that regard this offseason — he badly missed a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper within the fourth quarter on Wednesday. It’s additionally tough to seek out work as some extent guard within the NBA — there are a ton of wonderful gamers already employed at that place. The Celtics have White, Vacation and Pritchard all forward of Davidson at level guard alone and little time or house for improvement.
Nonetheless, Davison is hanging round — racking up assists in preseason, Summer time League and G-League video games. He’s obtained one thing, whether or not it winds up being sufficient to safe a roster spot down the road or not. Right here’s hoping he can discover a 3-point jumper ultimately.
8. After a really insane begin to their preseason slate — once more, we can’t stress sufficient how pointless it was to play three preseason video games in 4 nights — the Celtics now have six days off. They return on Tuesday to tackle the Knicks of their penultimate tune up earlier than the common season begins on Oct. 25.
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