Celtics Green 10/16: The Diversification of R.J. Hunter’s Offensive Repertoire

Sep 25, 2015; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard R.J. Hunter (28) during media day at the Boston Celtic Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2015; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard R.J. Hunter (28) during media day at the Boston Celtic Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Celtics swingman R.J. Hunter had his best game of the preseason, scoring 17 points in a win over the New York Knicks. 

R.J. Hunter made a major statement Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.  The second-year guard scored 17 points to lead the Celtics to a 119-107 victory over the New York Knicks.

As one of the players battling for a roster spot, Hunter showed off how diverse his offensive game can be.  Not only did he drain three 3-pointers, he showed off his ability to drive to the hope and create his own shot.  He also showed an ability to get to the free throw line.

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During a key play down the stretch, Hunter up-faked his opponent drawing a foul beyond the 3-point arc.  He ended up hitting two of the three free throws to give the Celtics a 103-99 lead.  Hunter also had two steals and one assist in his best preseason game thus far.  His 17 points in just 15 minutes played showed Celtics head coach Brad Stevens the type of player he can be, especially off the bench.

Stevens has praised the type of offseason Hunter is having even before his break-out performance Saturday night.

"“I think R.J. had a really good offseason, really prepared,” Stevens said via The Boston Globe. “And the one thing he’s struggled with in the first couple of days is making shots and that’s usually the case when you’re going harder and there’s more wear on your legs. So I’m not overly reacting to that. That’s a small sample size. We know what he’s about. We know how good he is. We know he passes the ball and can shoot the ball. And he’ll play better.”"

Related Story: Boston Celtics Guard R.J. Hunter Knows Now is His Time

Has he done enough to secure a roster spot?  A couple more performances like Saturday night and he will answer that question without a doubt.

Notes & quotes

Avery Bradley:  The Celtics shooting guard scored 15 points in just 17 minutes on the court.  He went 7-for-9 from the field and was very tough defensively.  Bradley really appeared to be in mid-season form in Saturday’s victory over the Knicks.  Most impressively was the variety of shots Bradly attempted as he is focused on diversifying his offensive game.

Jae Crowder:  The Celtics were hot from 3-point range, particularly Jae Crowder.  The versatile forward finished the game with 11 points while knocking down three of the four 3-point shots he attempted.  If Crowder can find that kind of consistency during the regular season, the Celtics will be a tough team to defend.

Brad Stevens on balance the minutes of his veteran players:

"“Our goal on October 26 is to be ready to play a regular season game and play regular season minutes, and also play 82 games. There’s a fine line there.”"

Brad Stevens on Jaylen Brown vs. Carmelo Anthony matchup via CSNNE:

"“He got a little bit of an education early in the third quarter [Saturday’s game vs. Knicks], which was … that was a really good thing, having to go and figure out best survive against Carmelo.  And I think that’s why you get these opportunities throughout the year and the preseason and everything else. We all want 19-year-olds to be 28 overnight; it’s not going to happen.”"

Next: Pastrnak Looks Ready For Break Out Season

The Boston Celtics preseason continues Monday night as they host the New York Knicks.