Monday, October 8, 2007

The New Look Celts

We caught our first glimpse of the Celtics over the weekend when they faced off against a strong Toronto team in preseason action. The game was surprisingly clean for a preseason game, as the two teams combined for only 30 turnovers. Field goal and free throw percentage were down, but that is to be expected with the plaers rediscovering their shooting touch.

The big three seemed to mesh well together, with Pierce leading the way with 21 points and KG contributing a monster 19/16 line.

Ray Allen did not have the best of games, scoring 10 points on 4-13 shooting and really not contributing much more stats-wise. However, his mere presence was enough to draw in the defense away from fellow sharpshooter Eddie House, who contributed 14 points, most of which came while he was wide open. Similar fates could await Tony Allen, Rajon ROndo and James Posey, if they somehow find their stroke.

On the other side of the ball, Toronto looked, if nothing else, very polished. TJ Ford again showed why he is one of the best pure point guards this side of Steve Nash by scoring an efficient 15 points and dishing out 5 assists all the while commiting 0 turnovers. Bargnani looked very impressive and surprisingly Dirk-like in his mini-homecoming, going 4-6 from the floor, and 2-3 from 3 in limited action. He has a better handle than I expected and probably is about where I'd hope Yi gets to by this point next year.

Overall, I was pleased with the showing and probably will bump up both teams slightly in the next installment of the power rankings.