Boston’s first scrimmage has come and gone, and now it’s time to give a few takeaways to the game.
The first takeaway from the scrimmage is that most of the team looked rusty. This is a given since, you know, since they haven’t played basketball in over 130 days. The first half was a bit sloppy, and the defense didn’t look great. Boston was playing a zone, which didn’t look bad, but they were getting eaten alive by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Steven Adams. Boston gave up 28 points in the paint in the first half, which isn’t what you want to see. The guys looked slow on the defensive end and didn’t seem to be playing with their full effort, besides Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart.
Marcus Smart was doing Marcus Smart things. He was chucking threes and missing threes, but made some incredible plays on the defensive end. He had three steals in the first half and was as pesty as ever, further proving why he’s one of the best defenders in the league.
This isn’t much of a surprise, but Jayson Tatum looked really rusty. This is no cause for concern, and fans shouldn’t worry at all, but it shows that nobody is invincible from being rusty, even the guy who was playing like a top-5 player before the season was suspended. He looked great on the defensive end, but couldn’t match it on offense.
You know who didn’t look rusty, though? Jaylen Brown. He hit a tough turn away jumper over Chris Paul right out of the gate.
Although he only played the first half and finished with nine points, he looked solid out on the court, and it doesn’t look like he lost his touch. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Jaylen Brown will make the biggest impact for the Celtics when the season resumes. I believe he’ll be the most consistent and reliable player for Boston, and we can expect to see a version of Jaylen Brown that we’ve never seen before.
None of the starters played the second half, which is smart considering we don’t need anybody tiring themselves out or injuring themselves in a game that means nothing. We saw a lot of Tremont Waters, Robert Williams, Carsen Edwards, and Grant Williams in the second half, and boy did some of them look good.
First things first, it’s time to make Tremont Waters the permanent backup point guard for the Celtics. Take away Brad Wanamaker’s minutes and give them all to Tremont. I may be overreacting a bit, but Waters looks like a natural running the second unit. He was making exceptional passes and scored some really nice buckets for the Celtics. The ball movement from the bench looked crisp, and I credit Tremont for that.
Grant Williams had a pretty solid showing as well. He hit a three, which isn’t something we’re used to seeing from him. If he starts to shoot and hit threes consistently during the regular season and the playoffs, that’d be a huge advantage for Boston and their bench.
Robert Williams played 11 minutes tonight and finished with 7 points and 3 rebounds. He was all over the place, but he’s also getting used to being back out on the floor. He’s suffered from injuries throughout the season and definitely has some rust to shake off. But at least he was hitting mid-range jump shots!
Overall, I’d give this scrimmage a C grade. They didn’t look terrible, but they didn’t look like the Celtics we’re used to seeing, and that’s okay. Most of the guys were rusty and need more time to get back into the swing of things. They shot 44 percent from the field and 21 percent from three, so there’s definitely a ton of room for improvement.
Another thing I will say is that I wouldn’t want to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. That team is legit and can give anybody a run for their money. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a stud and can make a name for himself in the postseason.
Boston plays their next scrimmage on Sunday against the Phoenix Suns. We’ll find out how much more of the starters we’ll see in that game and if the C’s can bounce back from their loss tonight.
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