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The Celtics’ high six shall be actually exhausting to cease: 8 takeaways from Celtics vs. Knicks


The highest of the Celtics’ rotation appeared nice in a tune-up in opposition to the Knicks.

The Celtics took on the Knicks in a preseason sport on Tuesday. Picture by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos

The Celtics beat the Knicks 123-110 on Tuesday of their second-to-last preseason sport, which can even have doubled as the ultimate likelihood for his or her new-look rotation to get comfy previous to the beginning of the season.

Listed here are the takeaways.

1. At Celtics Media Day, Jayson Tatum made waves by telling reporters he had placed on 12 kilos of muscle. That assertion was equal components regarding for opponents who should take care of his aggressive forays to the rim, and to the Celtics, who really want him to him to be an environment friendly 3-point shooter. Packing on muscle can mess with some gamers’ photographs.

On Tuesday, the previous remained a priority (for opponents), as Tatum efficiently bullied a number of defenders on his approach to the basket. However Tatum’s 3-point stroke additionally appeared good. He completed 5-for-8 from behind the arc en route to twenty-eight factors. The three-pointers appeared clean and in rhythm, and — as is the case when Tatum is at his greatest — his peak, fast launch and clean stroke made his 3-point shot primarily unguardable.

Surrounded by a lot offensive expertise, Tatum’s massive night didn’t stand out fairly as a lot because it might need final yr, however he completed with 28 factors, eight rebounds, 4 assists and three steals in half-hour. On this roster, and as he enters his prime, absolutely realized Jayson Tatum is a contender to take dwelling some regular-season {hardware}.

2. The Celtics’ common rotation has so some ways to beat you.

Kristaps Porzingis affords dozens of little wrinkles that had been lacking final yr — pick-and-rolls, pick-and-pops, pin-downs, post-ups, lobs, and even a little bit off-the-dribble motion that just about sat Isaiah Hartenstein down.

Jrue Vacation has a bunch of various methods to attain even when he isn’t making 3-pointers (and he could make loads of 3-pointers).

The Celtics might be deadly in transition, particularly after they unselfishly search for the open 3-point shooter.

They will punish you for over-committing to anybody — at one level, the protection swung too exhausting to at least one facet, which allowed Sam Hauser to drive, draw a defender and discover Al Horford for a 3-pointer. If an opposing protection is so pressured that Hauser can gash it off the dribble, the Celtics are in an awesome place.

The starters performed deep into the sport. Whether or not they play once more within the preseason or not, we now have plenty of proof that the highest of the Celtics’ rotation can do some actual harm.

3. Vacation might have made the very best play of the preseason within the first half. Off a defensive rebound that bounced oddly, Vacation converged on the ball alongside Evan Fournier, and dribbled it between Fournier’s legs to spark a breakaway. On the opposite finish, Vacation zipped a move to Payton Pritchard for a 3-pointer.

Right here’s a glance.

And one other angle.

4. We additionally bought some glimpses of what Vacation brings as a defender. He strikes his ft higher than simply about anybody this facet of Marcus Sensible and might stonewall opposing ball-handlers — staying in entrance and disrupting their ahead movement. Even when they cling on to the ball (which is not any assure in opposition to Vacation’s fast arms), stonewalling a ball-handler utterly disrupts an opponents’ offensive motion. Vacation reads angles nicely and is joyful to dart in and intercept a move, and Mazzulla tried out a full-court press at one level that highlighted how powerful and versatile the Celtics’ protection might be with Vacation and Derrick White on the ground.

5. The Celtics challenged an out-of-bounds name within the second quarter, which Kristaps Porzingis had fairly clearly knocked off a Knicks participant. Final season, the Celtics might need hung onto their problem in case they wanted it later within the sport, however NBA guidelines now enable groups one other problem in the event that they win their first one.

That offers Celtics assistant Matt Reynolds an opportunity to shine. Reynolds is named the Celtics’ go-to coach for challenges, and Joe Mazzulla trusts him implicitly.

“If he tells me to do it, I’m at all times going to do it,” Mazzulla informed Boston Sports activities Journal. “If he says it, I’m doing it a thousand % of the time.” 

Count on to see much more early-game challenges from Reynolds and the Celtics this yr. Beforehand, coaches wouldn’t use their problem even on a no brainer missed name within the first half in case they wanted it for a desperation second down the stretch. This new rule ought to result in extra correct officiating.

6. The Celtics let their 27-point first-half lead drain away a bit within the second. We’d contend that worrying in regards to the pure inclination to let up in a blowout preseason sport is unnecessarily unfavourable, however the Celtics weren’t very secure with a giant lead final yr, so followers with any lasting harm to their psyche can in all probability be excused.

7. The lineup that began the fourth quarter really might need some juice, regardless that neither Tatum nor Jaylen Brown was part of it — the group of Porzingis, Hauser, Al Horford, Payton Pritchard and Dalano Banton gives loads of firepower and loads of dimension.

Additionally noteworthy: Banton was the primary out-of-rotation participant to enter into the sport, which is an efficient signal for him. Oshae Brissett performed as nicely, however Svi Mykhailiuk, Jordan Walsh, Neemias Queta and different preseason standouts all remained on the bench.

8. The Celtics solely have another preseason sport — Thursday in opposition to the Hornets — and presumably, will probably be a chance for all of the gamers who took half in coaching camp to make a ultimate case for themselves, whether or not they’re auditioning for the Celtics or another person. For those who didn’t get an opportunity to catch Tuesday’s sport, you might need to attend till Oct. 25 when the Celtics’ regular-season slate begins.

The excellent news for Celtics followers? This staff is perhaps definitely worth the wait.

The Celtics and Hornets tip off at 7 p.m.