If the Boston Celtics opening game in the Orlando Pro Summer League was the honeymoon stage, reality set in on Monday at the Amway Center.
The Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons, 93-63, but the most entertaining moment of the game was when Rasheed Wallace yelled out his patented “Ball Don’t Lie!” from the Pistons bench following a missed technical free throw by Tony Mitchell.
The Pistons bench received a technical foul after Andre Drummond (who sat out Monday’s game), Rasheed Wallace (who reportedly joined the Pistons coaching staff), and a few other coaches objected to a goaltending call on the Pistons. Drummond was the most animated of the group on the bench, standing up and shouting in disagreement with the call.
Celtics first-round draft pick Kelly Olynyk also received a technical foul Monday, for an innocuous shove after the whistle. For those keeping track at home, Celtics assistant Jamie Young, Olynyk, Wallace, and Nets coach Jason Kidd have all been T’ed up. Who says the summer league is not competitive? (Anybody who watched the Celtics-Pistons game, probably).
The Celtics opened the game on a 20-5 run against the hapless Pistons, before loosening up a bit and letting Detroit hang around. Phil Pressey, who started in place of the injured Nolan Smith, ratcheted up the defensive pressure against Peyton Siva, who struggled to get the Pistons into their offense.
During one stretch in the first half, the Pistons turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions. The Pistons committed 11 first-half turnovers.
Olynyk played well again, scoring 13 points and grabbing 6 rebounds and swiping 5 steals. Darius Johnson-Odom scored a team-high 22 points, showcasing his explosive athleticism and toughness finishing around the hoop. If Johnson-Odom were 6-foot-4, instead of the (generous) 6-foot-2 he’s listed at, he would be a very solid NBA two-guard. Unfortunately, he’s a shooting guard in a point guard’s body.
Fab Melo, miraculously, took three charges, but was blocked twice on what seemed like wide-open dunk attempts. That brings the two day total of dunks Melo’s had blocked to approximately 100. This seems like a good time to mention that Melo is listed at 7-foot and 255 pounds, according to NBA.com.
In garbage time in the fourth quarter, Melo finally completed a dunk and the whole Celtics bench was smiling and laughing at the fact that he finally finished one time. If Melo is on the Celtics roster this season, and plays any meaningful minutes, we can all just assume the Celtics are tanking.