December 8, 2023


A variety of Celtics gamers impressed of their preseason win over the Sixers on Wednesday.

Boston Celtics’ Svi Mykhailiuk, proper, drives to the basket after getting previous Philadelphia 76ers’ Danny Inexperienced. AP Picture/Chris Szagola

The Celtics (sans Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) routed the 76ers (sans Joel Embiid and James Harden) on Wednesday, enhancing to 2-1 within the preseason with a 112-101 victory.

Listed below are the takeaways.

1. After taking off Monday’s recreation towards the Knicks, the Celtics’ regulars (once more, except for Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown) returned the ground, they usually appeared significantly better of their second at-bat. Jrue Vacation turned the ball over twice, however he scored 11 factors on tidy 5-for-7 capturing and dished out a pair of assists. Derrick White scored 11 factors as nicely, dished out 4 fairly assists and — maybe most notably — reminded everybody that he’s the NBA’s finest shot-blocking guard with three. Kristaps Porzingis bullseye’d each of his 3-point makes an attempt, together with one from excessive above the highest of the important thing, and completed with 11 factors and 5 rebounds.

Porzingis, Vacation and White all sat out the second half, however the ball motion and manufacturing within the first half left a really encouraging impression, particularly if Celtics followers are daydreaming about what it would appear to be with Tatum and Brown.

2. The Celtics had been white-hot from 3-point vary within the first half, ending 12-for-24 from deep with 15 assists on their 23 complete subject objectives. The ball zipped across the perimeter, and the Celtics’ shooters continued to seek out a number of open house towards a stretched, careworn protection.

Within the third quarter, the barrage continued — the Celtics opened up a double-digit lead that expanded going into the fourth. By the point the shooters cooled off, the injury was finished and the Celtics cruised the remainder of the way in which.

The Celtics have the personnel to create a number of wide-open 3-pointers. On the nights when the 3-pointers fall, they need to as soon as once more be primarily unstoppable on the offensive finish.

3. Payton Pritchard appeared nice once more, ending with 17 factors in 24 minutes regardless of a (comparatively) quiet night time from deep (3-for-9). The chatter popping out of camp about his preparation was clearly justified, and the one query remaining is how a lot he’ll truly play when the common season rolls round, however he seems to be like a lock for the rotation.

4. Dalano Banton has had a pleasant preseason, however he dedicated a cardinal sin — one thing Joe Mazzulla takes very seriously — on the primary play of the second half when he took too lengthy to dive onto a free ball. Mazzulla instantly despatched a alternative to the scorers desk and pulled Banton apart as he walked off the ground to berate him.

Banton didn’t return to the ground till late within the third quarter. He completed the sport scoreless in 16 minutes — a tough final result for a participant who impressed in earlier video games.

5. Coming into camp, Neemias Queta appeared like a protracted shot to earn constant minutes given his relative inexperience and the sheer quantity of expertise the Celtics must make time for on their roster.

From purely a numbers standpoint, that continues to be the case. Nonetheless, Queta has been one of many extra promising gamers throughout the preseason — an enormous physique who can transfer nicely, discover open areas across the rim, set massive picks and (most significantly) rebound the ball on a crew which may wrestle on the glass all through the season. On Wednesday, Queta was a dependable pick-and-roll goal each for Payton Pritchard and JD Davison, and he completed with 10 factors and three boards in simply eight minutes.

Luke Kornet is established throughout the group, and Wenyen Gabriel has some expertise as a hustling massive man on the NBA degree, however throughout preseason play, Queta has been essentially the most promising heart outdoors of Porzingis and Horford.

6. As soon as once more, Svi Mykhailiuk appeared like a participant the Celtics may use on the full-time roster, and at this level, he appears very more likely to make the lower. He dished out just a few good passes, received to the rim, knocked down a few powerful mid-range jumpers, and went 3-for-4 from deep en route to fifteen factors.

Sam Hauser caught hearth as nicely from past the arc and dropped 15 factors as nicely, burying 4 of his 9 3-point makes an attempt — the sort of sky-scraping parabolas that made him one of the vital harmful bench gamers of October and November final 12 months.

The Celtics discover themselves in a pleasant place going into the season with their back-up wings — a number of potential contributors have proven flashes throughout the preseason, with a spread of ability units for various conditions.

This coaching camp roster may be very deep. No matter cuts the Celtics are pressured to make gained’t be straightforward.

7. We stay comparatively excessive on JD Davison’s basketball future, whether or not he performs for the Celtics or one other crew down the road. Davison has nice timing as a passer — inventive, affected person, and continually conscious popping out of the pick-and-roll. His athleticism makes him harmful when he explodes off the display, and his power makes him tough to strip.

Davison’s capturing remains to be his swing ability, and it’s unclear whether or not he has improved in that regard this offseason — he badly missed a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper within the fourth quarter on Wednesday. It’s additionally tough to seek out work as some extent guard within the NBA — there are a ton of wonderful gamers already employed at that place. The Celtics have White, Vacation and Pritchard all forward of Davidson at level guard alone and little time or house for growth.

Nonetheless, Davison is hanging round — racking up assists in preseason, Summer time League and G-League video games. He’s received one thing, whether or not it winds up being sufficient to safe a roster spot down the road or not. Right here’s hoping he can discover a 3-point jumper finally.

8. After a very insane begin to their preseason slate — once more, we can’t stress sufficient how pointless it was to play three preseason video games in 4 nights — the Celtics now have six days off. They return on Tuesday to tackle the Knicks of their penultimate tune up earlier than the common season begins on Oct. 25.