Celtics Fall to Charlotte in Preseason Opener

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Celtics Fall to Charlotte in Preseason Opener

Post by mulcogiseng on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:00 am

Boston Celtics fall to Charlotte Hornets: Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, and 10 things we learned in preseason opener
By Tom Westerholm | twesterh@masslive.com | Posted September 28, 2018 at 10:03 PM | Updated September 28, 2018 at 10:03 PM

The Boston Celtics fell 104-97 to the Charlotte Hornets in their preseason opener on Friday, as Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving took the court together for the first time since last year's disastrous season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After an excellent first half, during which the Celtics led by 20, Charlotte came storming back in the third when Boston went ice-cold from three. The Celtics' third unit briefly took a fourth-quarter lead, but Miles Bridges' enormous dunks helped the Hornets pull away.

Here are 10 things we learned.

1. Kyrie Irving really wanted to be back out there.
Irving looked like he was trying to take out some of the frustrations that built up sitting on the bench during Boston's deep playoff run last season. The first basket of the Celtics' preseason was Irving's tough left-handed floater, and he followed it up with a 3-pointer on the next possession -- reminders that when Irving gets going, there really is no way to stop him on the offensive end. In 22 minutes, Irving posted just nine points, but he looked once again like the lynchpin to an excellent offense.

2. As expected, slowing the Celtics' starters will be difficult.
Boston's offense went really cold in the second and third quarters, but the 37-point first hammered home just how difficult this team will be to handle when they get going. Irving can beat anyone off the dribble. Jayson Tatum destroyed a couple of mismatches when they were presented. Jaylen Brown looks comfortable and confident. Al Horford will be Al Horford. Gordon Hayward looked very rusty, but he was still part of a productive lineup.

Everybody can shoot. Everybody can make plays. They are going to be tough.

3. The defense showed mixed results.
We won't linger here long (since, you know, preseason), but you can see why Brad Stevens is concerned about skipping steps. The Celtics had moments where they looked like the switch-happy multi-headed monster that produced the best defense in the NBA last year. They also got beat backdoor multiple times and had plenty of moments of inattention.

We won't read too much into it for now.

4. Gordon Hayward looked rusty, but healthy.
Hayward had some ugly misses, which is to be expected. His first shot -- a mid-range jumper -- came up well short and looked like the shot an athlete takes when he still remembers what happened the last time he was on a court.

But he seemed to settle in, and he hit a pull-up 3-pointer out of the pick-and-roll in the second half that will be available to him often this year. His first game back looked like a first game back, but he's building.

5. The Celtics were absolutely launching 3-pointers.
There seemed to be a clear directive from the Celtics' coaching staff: Every available 3-pointer is to be shot on sight. Shoot first, ask questions never.

So the Celtics launched and launched, finishing with 47 attempts and making just nine of them (a laughable 19.1 percent). It wasn't pretty, but if the Celtics make teams constantly fear they are about to get shelled out of the building, they will find driving and cutting lanes open up more frequently.

Boston's 3-point attempts will be worth watching this year.


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Re: Celtics Fall to Charlotte in Preseason Opener

Post by bobheckler on Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:41 am

Better late than never.



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Re: Celtics Fall to Charlotte in Preseason Opener

Post by KyleCleric on Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:28 pm

Great to see Theis, Hayward, and Kyrie back and for Williams to play a bit.


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Re: Celtics Fall to Charlotte in Preseason Opener

Post by TheHat on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:07 pm

I mett at the Newtowne Grill with my BBall buds to watch. What I saw: Tatum looked like he can shoot. Baynes can still make things happen under the basket. Irving made a couple of threes then missed one and started passing instead, and the dribble was there. Didn't hear Hayward's or Horford's name much. I can't keep Wanamaker, Dozier, and Bibbs(?) straight, yet. RWilliams looked OK, not forcing himself into the play, but looked coordinated and good ball handler. Brown was top scorer, but i barely noticed.


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Re: Celtics Fall to Charlotte in Preseason Opener

Post by dboss on Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:34 am

Brad is experimenting with a lot of different lineups.

Gordon looked healthy but has little rhythm.  He appears to be tentative.  That will pass.  He will get a lot of open looks in this offense.  

Kyrie is back and looks good.

Jason and Jaylen are ready to play as is Terry and Morris.  

The rookie Williams defended out to the perimeter several times. He also has a serviceable stroke from the line.


Al is Al and Baynes is Baynes.

Theis seemed to have a slight limp.

Semi still cannot make wide open threes.

Yabu seems more under control but still is a project..

End of the bench scrubs, nothing to see here.  Move along

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Re: Celtics Fall to Charlotte in Preseason Opener

Post by dboss on Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:01 pm

That starting 5 unit is going score a lot of points.

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