Thursday, October 30, 2014
Celtics Open 2014-15 Season With Low Expectations By Blowing Out the Nets
It is only one game so there is no need to call the Duck Boats quite yet but even the most cynical Celtics fan (points at self) has to admit that tonight's 121-105 demolition of the Nets at TD Garden was one hell of a way to start off the 2014-2015 regular season. For a team pegged to be a lottery team (again) with no hope of getting to .500, this result makes you wonder if we're simply underestimating the C's in year two under head coach Brad Stevens.
For the first time since 2002, Boston had eight guys score in double figures including all five starters (who each hit a 3-pointer as well). Rajon Rondo (13 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds) surprisingly started despite his recent broken hand. Naturally he flirted with a triple-double in 30 minutes of action. Kelly Olynyk led Boston with 19 points and six rebounds. Jeff Green had 17 points, six rebounds and two steals. Avery Bradley scored 15 points and Jared Sullinger rounded out (no pun intended, he's fat!) the starting five with 13 points and two blocks.
Paul Pierce is now with the Wizards and Kevin Garnett (10 points, 6 rebounds) entered his 20th (!) NBA campaign, this has to be his final go-around. The Nets got rid of bozo head coach Jason Kidd for the not wanted Lionel Hollins but it probably doesn't matter who is in charge because they have no clear direction. Some Yugoslavian rookie named Mirza Teletovic, a power forward, led the Nets with a game-high 20 points, six rebounds and two blocks off the bench in 23 minutes. He'll be starting in no time if he keeps up that type of production.
Brooklyn's old guy backcourt of Deron Williams (19 points, 8 assists) and Joe Johnson (19 points, 6 rebounds) would be quite a combination say five years ago but in 2014, you know that Williams will either get hurt, disinterested or both before Christmas. Former Worcester Academy (look it up) star Jarrett Jack added 11 points off the bench for the Nets, he always seems to play well vs. Boston.
Three of the newest Celtics, rookie Marcus Smart (4 steals), Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner (7 rebounds, 5 assists) all scored 10 points off the bench. The C's might not have the best starting five in the Atlantic Divison, let alone the Eastern Conference but it appears that they'll have way more depth than last season so that's worth something, right?
This was simply never remotely competitive as Boston led 32-23 after the first quarter and 67-41 at halftime. To put it into context, they only had one 20+ point lead previously in 2014 (last season). The Celtics outscored the Nets 34-31 in the third quarter before Brooklyn's scrubs made it a little more respectable in the fourth (33-20) but not really.
All these young guys on the Celts will have a few days to hear how great they look before things get real with a trip to Houston (2-0) on Saturday (8, CSN) followed by a meeting in Dallas (0-1) on Monday (8:30, CSN). Those are two definite playoff teams in the always loaded Western Conference and Boston typically plays poorly in Texas so it figures to be a different story from this evening's fun.