Found October 10, 2013 on Celtics Green ...a boston celtics blog.:
The Celtics came up short against the Knicks in last night's preseason game, but they made improvements in several areas, and that's the name of the game for this young squad. At one point, the Celtics were down as many as 23 points but a squad led by Phil Pressey, Chris Babb and Vitor Faverani led a furious comeback that came just short. As I have said a few times already, this team is going to be fun to watch and they showed it again last night. The Celtics defense improved over their first game. Even though the end box score shows that the Knicks shot 52% for the game, their starters were held to just 47% in the first half. They also made some very difficult shots that were well defended. Another big improvement was in the rebounding. After being out rebounded by 20 in their first game, they did much better on the boards in this game, out rebounding the Knicks 36-34. They also looked more relaxed and cohesive both in the first half, when they trailed by just 1 and during the comeback when they came just one point short at the end of the game. The team was once again unselfish with 28 assists on 40 field goals. Jared Sullinger had another nice game starting at center. He was active on the boards, leading the team with 6 rebounds. He added 6 points and a steal as well. He missed both 3 pointers that he took, and while he can make that shot, he's much better from mid range and around the basket. There may be a contest this season between Gerald Wallace and Sully for who can take the most charges as both took a couple in this game. Wallace started at the small forward spot and was active on defense along with scoring 10 points to go with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Brandon Bass joined Wallace in the front court and finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee once again started in the back court. After playing 32 minutes in the first game, Bradley played just 20 in this one, tallying 12 points and 3 assists. Lee played 25 minutes, scoring just 2 points to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. The story of the night was the play of undrafted rookie Phil Pressey who led a wild comeback in the 4th quarter, leading the team from 23 points down to take the lead on his layup with 22 seconds to go. He finished the night with 13 points on 4-5 shooting along with 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Chris Babb also made his NBA debut last night and made the most of it. He finished with 12 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and a blocked shot. He also hit 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Babb's performance may have taken others by surprise, but not coach Stevens. “Chris Babb has been one of the best workers, had one of the best attitudes, and been one of the best teammates in there from Day 1," Stevens said. "So it's not a shock at all that he went in and did what he did. We have been huge fans of his since he walked in the building." And, then there's Vitor Faverani. I really like the way Vitor plays. He's tough, has good hands, and isn't afraid to bang under the basket. Maybe best of all, he runs the floor very well for a 7 footer, beating everyone down the court a couple of times. Vitor finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. I have a feeling that we are going to see a lot more of Vitor this season. Kelly Olynyk continues to show some nice moves but hasn't been as productive as he was in Summer League with just 4 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist in last night's action off the bench. Kris Humphries came off the bench last night and finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes of play. Jeff Green also came off the bench and once again lacked aggressiveness. He finished with 10 points on 4-10 shooting (2-6 from beyond the arc) to go with 3 rebounds and 2 assists in just under 13 minutes. All in all, it was a fun game to watch. We saw improvement in several areas and that is what the preseason is all about. Phil Pressey proved that he is up to playing the back up point guard spot, whether it is behind Avery Bradley or Rajon Rondo. He may even be making a case to start at point guard. But, then again, it was just one game. Next up are the Sixers on Friday at 7:00 PM in Newark, Delaware. [Discuss on CG Forums!]
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