Boston Celtics: Takeaways from the Third Preseason Game


Coming off of a strong European road trip, the Boston Celtics continued where they left off with a 109-105 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams played shorthanded on Wednesday night’s game at the Barclays Center. Boston was down four players: Marcus Smart (strep throat), Terry Rozier (knee), David Lee (rest) and Avery Bradley (rest).

Brooklyn was without Andrea Bargnani (hamstring), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle), Donald Sloan (hamstring), Markel Brown (oblique), and Chris McCullough (ACL). The Celtics never trailed in the game and with the victory moved to 3-0 in the preseason. Here are some takeaways from Boston’s win:

Doing it as a Team

This win was a great example of team basketball. The Celts excelled on both ends of the floor: players rotated on defense and were unselfish on offense. The Celtics had an amazing 28 assists on 40 made field goals, 16 of which came from Evan Turner and Isaiah Thomas.

The Celtics had six players in double figures and everyone who played scored. In a game without Smart, Bradley, and Lee, it was encouraging to see the rest of the team step up.

What 3-Point Woes?

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This preseason the Celtics have shown that last season’s 3-point shooting struggles might be a thing of the past. In Wednesday’s win the Celtics shot 50% (13-26) from behind the arc and had seven different players make a three-pointer. Hopefully, Boston’s impressive long-range shooting is truly here to stay.

R.J. Hunter is Not a One Trick Pony

The Celtics knew that R.J. Hunter was a great shooter, but he’s proven very early on that he is not a one-dimensional player. Hunter did a little bit of everything in Boston’s win. He had four steals, four assists, and four rebounds to complement his 11 points.

Hunter hit three 3-pointers in the first half and finished 3-7 from long-range. He’ll have a spot in Stevens’ rotation if he can repeat his productive shooting and competent defending on a nightly basis.

Johnson’s Strong Start

Amir Johnson did not disappoint in his first start of the preseason, filling in for Lee. Johnson was effective from pretty much anywhere on the floor. He established his shot early, scoring 12 of his 19 points in the first quarter, which included two three-pointers. Brooklyn’s defenders had to honor his 3-point shot, which allowed him to fake out defenders and create offense other ways.

Turner’s Debut

After a scoreless first half, Evan Turner shook off the rust in the second half, scoring all 10 of his points in the third quarter. He shot an efficient 4-9 from the field, while filling the stats sheet in typical fashion with 7 assists, five rebounds, one steal, and one block in 25 minutes. Turner will have to continue this kind of play if he hopes to start on opening night since Jae Crowder is making a case of his own.

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