Our first glimpse of the 2012-13 Boston Celtics came today in a 97-91 defeat to the Turkish team Fenerbahce, which was playing its fourth game in as many days.
The Celtics had 25 turnovers and barely won the rebounding battle against a a team whose big men all seemed to have bald spots larger than the TD Garden. The effort wasn’t perfect or anywhere close to it, but it provided a basis of hope for certain players.
Jared Sullinger (16 points, eight rebounds) was especially productive and Jeff Green (11 points in the fourth quarter) drew James Worthy comparisons from Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine (seriously) while roasting some European dude in the final period. Darko Milicic wasn’t awful and seemed to try hard, which was nice, and Jason Terry (12 points) is still Jason Terry, even while wearing J.R. Giddens’ number. The regular suspects (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Bass) didn’t play as many minutes as they normally will, but they’re still who we recall. Fab Melo is tall, Courtney Lee will play better, Boston’s bench scored 48 points and Bo McCaleb*, God bless his quick and crafty soul, will never play the Celtics again unless he decides he wants to migrate from Europe to the NBA.
Boston’s defense needs plenty of work and its offense could use additional rhythm, but there were bright spots even in the loss. Additional analysis coming later.
(Jay has plenty of thoughts on the game at MassLive)
*In case you were wondering, McCaleb has received plenty of NBA interest. But he makes more money overseas, so he has yet to join the world’s greatest basketball league.