The Celtics pre-season finale gave us even more reason to be excited as the year approaches



The bottom line is that no one was injured last night and we continue to see positive signs of growth from several young players who you think would find their way into the rotation. I feel a lot better about how deep this team is heading into the season after seeing what we’ve got this preseason, and now the challenge is actually to keep that caliber of play when things count. for real. If we’re fair and balanced here, the preseason has also shown some flaws and some areas where the Celts still need to be much better. It should come with time, and that’s exactly what this time of year is for. Bring in your reps, show flashes of development, and see where your issues are that need to be fixed.

Having said that, let’s talk about all of this.


– I don’t think I’m on an island here when I say that the Celts’ biggest preseason winner is without a doubt Romeo Langford. He’s a player you couldn’t stop hearing was already a bust and a terrible choice for Ainge. You know, a player who has played a total of 50 NBA games is kind of a finished product. It never made sense to me back then, and after watching his preseason, it makes even less sense to me now.

It looks like a completely different Romeo. Choose any type of test you want. The eye test? Romeo passes brilliantly. He was perhaps more assertive in his opportunities. The Romeo we’ve seen this preseason was a lot more decisive with his moves, his shot was legitimate and he was just as solid on defense. In previous years he looked like a player terrified of making a mistake and the game seemed too fast for him to process given his limited minutes. The couldn’t be further from what we’ve seen of him this preseason.

Want to just go through the production? OKAY. In 4 games, he finished with 12.5 / 2.5 / 0.8 out of 55.9 / 60% distribution with 3.8 3AP per night. Are you telling me it’s not legitimate for a reserve wing? His corner three is no longer a prayer. In fact, I find myself in a position where I am surprised when one is missing. From everything we’ve heard from Ime he walks away in awe

He’s not wrong. Romeo and Nesmith are the two jokers on this list, simply because they are so young and above all unknown. Finally, with a normal / summer league / training camp offseason, look at how much better they both are. There is concrete evidence as to why you should be excited about what they could bring in a reserve role. Would it shock anyone if we saw a starting lineup that is ultimately a big one and then one from Nesmith / Romeo? Given what he looks like now, I think Romeo could have the indoor track in a matter of minutes. You combine his defense, improved shooting and passing ability, it could absolutely be a great jumping season for him.

– Something tells me that Dennis Schroder will fit in very well. I love the fact that he keeps 94 feet, I love that he is a defensive pest on the ball, I love how he is able to get into the paint at will, I love that he be fast as shit, and I love that he gave Bam everything he could handle last night

It’s just nice to have a reserve point guard who has entry-level NBA talent. I’m interested to see what he looks like playing alongside the two Jays in some lineups, especially if that type of passing is going to translate into the regular season. When I think of two areas in which the guards on this team struggled last year, I think of ball defense and ball movement. While in just 2 games, Schroder has ticked both of those boxes so far. He didn’t shoot the ball very well, in fact his divisions were 38/20% raw, but for $ 5.9million it looks like he’s going to beat that contract pretty quickly.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having a guard who lives in the painting and can go there whenever they want. This will bring down the defenders, which will leave the Celtic shooters wide open. This will put pressure on the big guys to help and then you can just throw it at Rob. Having elite dribbling penetration has been a staple of every Celtics elite attack since 2014. Think Isaiah, then when Kyrie played and Kemba’s freshman year. When Kemba couldn’t reach anyone for a while, things stopped.

– Nothing to say with the Celts 20 AST on 36 FGM. It’s an AST% that we can all live with. Four players with at least 3 AST, the only thing we can say for sure is that the ball moved much better in these fake games. I pray that this selfless approach will continue because it makes them so much harder to keep. I love that they get this approach from pretty much everyone who walks on the floor.

The bad

– If we’re being honest, I don’t think Tatum played so well in this game. I know he led the Celts with 23 points out of 8-19, which isn’t great, but his 6 TOs certainly were. I also didn’t like that he only finished with 1 AST, but you remember he didn’t play with any other starters in that game. He had his typical run in the 3rd quarter, which showed us that when he’s locked up pretty much nobody can keep him, but when you then add his complaints to the officials (along with everyone) it was not the best Tatum performance I’ve ever seen. I’ll give it credit, I’m a fan of the 7 FTA, and historically Tatum has always kicked the ball badly in preseason. That didn’t limit him too much when it comes to reality, thankfully.

– It was very 2012-13 that the Celts were in a road game in MIA, and somehow the Heat never missed a shot without being fouled. Considering the difference in talent in this game, I find it great fun that the Heat are still bailed out the way they were. For the majority of this game, they had almost double the FTA. They finished with a difference of 27-16 FTM. Jimmy Butler took more FT than all of the Celtics from 5. The fact that they still couldn’t get away until late despite this was an encouraging sign but also quite frustrating.

– Which brings me to my next point. Ime has made it clear that he wants this team to shut up and stop complaining to the refs. Crying about calls can just as easily be punished with death, according to Ime. Well, that didn’t exactly work out earlier in the preseason with Tatum, and last night was another disaster with this stuff. From Schroder trying to trip Butler (which was very bad), to Tatum complaining about not getting calls, to Grant, who had the most egregious case. Let’s watch this Grant game

Is that a shitty call? Absoutely. I mean it’s just not an offensive foul. But here’s the thing. Shut up Grant. Go to the next game. Instead he didn’t, he kept bitching and was late to come back and it led to an easy Bam dunk. Ime immediately called a timeout and pulled it out for Juancho. Responsibility. We were all curious how Ime would react to this stuff, and he made it clear that this shit wouldn’t fly.

Now it’s one thing to do that to Grant and another to a bigger player that we haven’t seen yet, but I love that Ime doesn’t let that shit slip away. We just need to see the players follow and change their actions.

– For the first time in a long time, I felt like Nesmith was a little out of control in this game. His shot looked good, but it looked a lot more like Nesmith’s start compared to what we just saw. see in the Orlando game. Overall he’s had a solid preseason, but this was the first time he’s watched him play where it looked like he had reverted to bad habits.

The ugly one

– What a gross second quarter this team had. After playing so well to start, they followed up with a quarterback in which they had more TOs than FGMs (8v7) and shot a brutal 35/20%. This is ultimately what kept them from walking away and the rest was history. It’s hard to get excited considering the bodies available, but raw basketball is still raw basketball. It’s not really rocket science that when this team is careless with the ball, they get burned. Welcome to the NBA.

– I’ll just say it. The Celtics have a problem with Tyler Herro. You may not like it, but it’s the truth. They never have an answer for this kid. He destroyed them. He was the best player on the pitch on both sides and it wasn’t even that close. Herro didn’t score on fluke either. His three are superb and his sack off the dribble seems to be stretching. He’s explosive off the P&R and showing all the signs of making a LEGIT leap this year. Just look at his pre-season game log. Each night earns more than 25 points on good split times. I don’t know what the market is, but every time he plays against the Celts he goes nuclear. At this point, it’s not a prayer, it’s a problem.

Just something to keep in mind moving forward.

– OK you know how I said the second shift was disgusting? The fourth wasn’t much better. Only a 6-point game at the time, the Celts managed only 19 points out of 33/25% shooting. They clearly ran out of gas, the guys at the end of the bench couldn’t score and a competitive game turned into a blowout before you knew it. Essentially, it was a very 2020 Celtics of them.

Fortunately, we can now close the book on these bogus games and start focusing on the real deal. Outside of Horford, everyone who missed the game last night looks set to play for the Knicks on Wednesday. I like to take a test right away. The Knicks are going to be cheered up, looking to prove that last year was no fluke, and H2H Division clashes are always important no matter when they happen in the schedule.

All in all a pretty good preseason where we saw a lot of what we were hoping to see. At the same time, Wednesday simply cannot early enough.


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