Boston Celtics: Takeaways from the Fourth Preseason Game


The Boston Celtics fell to the New York Knicks 101-95 Friday night at The Madison Square Garden. The Celtics dropped to 3-1, while the Knicks moved to 4-0 in the preseason. Boston was without Terry Rozier (knee) and Marcus Smart (illness) for the second straight game, while Kristaps Porzingis (quad) did not play for New York. Here are a few takeaways from Boston’s first preseason loss:

Finally Defeated

The C’s hot streak had to end sooner or later. Though the team did not play horrendously, they were indeed sloppy. The Knicks glided to an early 13-4 lead in the first quarter as the Celtics settled for too many jump shots. The Celtics later rallied, but turnovers (18) and poor shooting (39.8% from the field) sealed the team’s fate.

New York didn’t shoot the ball well from the field either (37%), however they shot an effective 48% (12-25) from behind the arc. Boston had plenty of opportunities to pull ahead, yet failed to capitalize on those chances.

Jared Sullinger: The Outsider

Sullinger has not started a single preseason game and there’s a good reason why. Simply put, he’s not performing. Sullinger was unimpressive in his 19 minutes against the Knicks. He rebounded the ball well (10 rebounds) and played some respectable defense. Besides that, he was a mess on offense, connecting on 1-8 from the field and front rimming a number of his attempts.

In addition, he is still chucking up ill-advised long 2s despite how he recently showcased his ability to shoot 3-pointers. For someone with many glimmers of potential, he has disappointed many fans with his lackluster play these past few preseason games.

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Young is Coming Around

One of the bright spots in the team’s loss was James Young, who had his best performance of the preseason. Young scored 10 points on 3-4 shooting from the field, including 2-3 from three-point range. He has made a noticeable improvement on his defense, including improved awareness.

His shooting and defense are both encouraging, but he is still far away from being a nightly contributor. If Young can establish a rhythm and gain some confidence, then he’ll earn himself some more minutes for the Celtics this season.

Steamin’ Stevens

Coach Brad Stevens hardly ever gets a technical foul, but somehow he managed to receive one in the third quarter. Stevens walked onto court and complained that Tyler Zeller was fouled on a dunk, which earned the head coach his first tech of the preseason. For those interested, here’s Stevens’ priceless reaction to receiving his technical foul:

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