By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
MANCHESTER, N.H. – If there were a Hardwood Preseason Classic channel, this game would be playing by tomorrow afternoon. A classic preseason game.
Celtics put a bow on their exhibition game schedule facing their first regular season opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers, in Manchester, NH at the Verizon Wireless Arena with the 81-65 win.
There wasn’t a lot of spectacular plays to be had in this one. You could call it a “defensive battle” or you could call it the last preseason game on the schedule.
Turnovers were a big issue in the first half with each team giving away the ball 11 times. Philly ultimately gave up the ball 23 times on the night while the Celts coughed it up 17.
The starting lineup was what we saw the night before with Smart, Bradley, Crowder, Lee and Zeller. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens wouldn’t commit to that as his starting lineup, but it seems like that is the group that is playing the best and what we’ll see in the home opener.
Bradley, who strained his shin against New York, had 6 points to go along with four steals and appears to fine enough to play. He only played one quarter, but the only way you would have noticed he was battling an injury was because his right leg was wrapped up.
Building off his best game of the preseason, Jared Sullinger played 20 minutes and droped 6 points and grabbed 14 boards.
He also gave us a our lone highlight going coast-to-coast in the 2nd quarter.
The only other highlight came on the sidelines where reporters discovered possibly the new team motto: Baby Food
Brad Stevens said after the game that he hasn’t talked to Danny Ainge too much about the roster cuts just yet, but plan to have them done in the next 24-48 hours.
Overall it was a solid preseason for the Celtics. The rookies looked promising, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk seem to be taking the next step in their careers and not one suffered a serious injury.
And as promising as all that is, we do need to throw in the caveat of who they C’s were playing. Outside of the Europe trip, Boston played the Knicks, Nets and 76ers this preseason. Last season they were a combined 73-173, so we are not talking about the NBA’s elite by any stretch of the imagination.
Regardless, I think I can speak for all Celtics fans that they are happy the regular season is right around the corner.