Re: Celtics vs. Ulker 10/05/12
posted at 10/6/2012 1:37 AM EDT
A few take-aways from the game in Turkey...
1. Green looks good - quicker than his brief time on the court with the Celts. He will be the third leading scorere on the team and the go to guy for the second unit. Make no mistake though, they will suffer on the boards with him at the 4 so they had better run and run somen more when they go small.
2. Can't predict what kind of year Sullinger will have, but he definitely has a nose for the ball, good hands, and some identifiable offensive and rebounding skills. Looked a little better in terms of defesnive schemes than he did in the rookie league (of course playing with better players; learning in camp, etc, helps). He is without a vertical game, however, and will have big problems getting his shot off around the basket against legitimate NBA competition. A big thing for him then is awareness in and around the hoop and the good news is he seems to possess some of that. He will also be challenged when defending more mobile 4s who can bring him outside and shoot over him. Same kind of issues someone like Big Baby had/has. I like his upside more than Baby's though. His body is better proportioned.
3. Rondo looks like he's going to have a monster year. Out of the gate his shot looks better. Of course we'll have to wait and see, but that is the only component of his game keeping him from making the next step up to the Chris Paul/Deron Williams/Derick Rose level. I personally think he's better than Westbrook already.
4. Fab Melo is not even close to being ready for the NBA. His offensive skills are a joke. Looks like a very large high school player who's been dropped into an NBA game. He is beyond raw and will absolutely not be on the 12 man roster. Right now he's in way over his head.
5. For people worried about dionte christmas; jamal smith; joseph etc. - these guys are irrelevant. Barring additional injury, it is likely only one of the three will actually be on the 15 man roster once Bradley returns.
6. Darko can be the back-up center and he will block shots and show flashes, but be wary - he will also frustrate and disappoint. When he is engaged and playing well he can be effective in a minimal role, but he will also baffle with sloppy play and mental mistakes. Still, all in all I really like the move. All they need is 10-15 minutes a night. He's a big body with a little bit of athleticism. The attitude seems right - maybe he benefits from being on a quality veteran team with little pressure on him to do more than fill a very specific, defined role. Definitely an upgrade over Collins. Just guessing, but I bet he's liking being surrounded by all the experience and talent and a solid veteran coach.
7. Courtney Lee looks like he has a weird hitch in his shot. This guy is going to fit right in on the defensive end of the court though and he's going to be great on the break.
8. This team is exponentially more athletic than they've been in the past few years. While I hated to see Ray go I'll take the trade-off - they're younger and quicker. Players like Bradley, Lee, Terry, and Green are going to really help Rondo run. This team has great depth but it doesn't have superstars in their prime. The need to play to their strengths, which include ball movement, playing smart, and following rondo's lead in the running game. Rondo is the x factor.
9. Terry is going to kill it from three, especially in transition. Rondo will find him often.
10. While Terry is capable of eating some back-up minutes (and Bradley can do the same), I'd much prefer they signed a veteran pg. I cannot see Christmas or Smith filling prime time minutes in the NBA right any time soon. Don't understand Ainge's seeming reluctance to carry a back-up pg on the roster, though it's clear he and doc favor a combo guard approach with Terry and Bradley and don't feel a presisng need to sign a traditional back-up point. Ture, they had Dooling, but I'd much rather see a proven guy as opposed to taking a flyer on marginal guys whose chances of staying in the league are slim to none. I keep people pronouncing futures for players like Christmas and Smith - remember, these type of guys almost never make it. They are where they are for a reason and only rarely does a player go overseas and/or spend significant time in the develpment league and emerge to become even an avergae NBA player. Doesn't mean it can't happen - it's just very unlikely. Guys are on the margins, for the most part, because they belong there.
11. Garnett looks re-energized, healthy, and the center position is the right place for him on this team. Anything that forces him to get some of his offense in the post is agood thing. He is a much better player, and this is a much better team, when he is not relying excusively on 18-20 foot fall aways. On the defensive end he can hold his own with almost anyone. True Howard and Bynum (and even guys like Pecovic and Hibbert) will give him some trouble, but there are just so few legit centers left that it's really that big an big issue. In the playoffs they'll just have to find a way to run in their big bodies to eat up minutes. That is why a guy like Collins might come in handy later on.
12. People are forgetting about Chris Wilcox. If healthy he will get minutes in front of Sullinger and perhaps even Darko. He is a legitimate 8-10 guy on a good team and is going to be an essential part of the second unit along with Terry, Green, Lee.
13. Perhaps goes without saying, but it'd be nice to see Bass get more active on the boards. He may not jump that well, but he has a big body.
14. Don't know what Sullinger's actual weight is but he looks a little slimmer than he did during rookie league. If he plays, conditioning will be an issue for him, though I'm sure the team is all over it.
15. Being legitimately ten (or so) deep is huge for veterans like Pierce and Garnett, who can play fewer minutes without there being major fall-off.