By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
The wait is over. Celtics basketball is back and has the promise of being one of the best seasons in recent years.
Celtics are now undefeated on the season after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 112-95 in the home opener.
It wasn’t a strong start for the C’s, however, being down 26-21 after the first and were getting crushed in the paint by rookie Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.
Isaiah Thomas did his job dropping 27 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Thomas started his first full season in Boston on a historic note being the first Celtic since Reggie Lewis in the 1989-90 season to score 25+ points in the opener.
Jared Sullinger, who took his lumps during the offseason due to his weight issues, took advantage of suspended Kelly Olynyk’s minutes scoring 12 points and 7 rebounds on 6-8 shooting.
Coming out of the locker room for the second half, Sully started and was most effective filling in for Tyler Zeller on the interior stopping Jahlil Okafor, who was giving the C’s fits in the first and ultimately ended up scoring 26 points on the night.
Marcus Smart was “Marcus Smart” on the defensive side of the ball, but was not particularly efficient shooting going 3-8 for 13 points. However where Smart gets the rave reviews is what doesn’t show up in the box score. His passing and court awareness were on full display against Philly.
Looking at the new guys: David Lee had a quiet night (8 pts, 5 reb and 5 ast) and was blocked a handful of times by Nerlens Noel, but Lee’s passing was certainly a positive note.
Amir Johnson had 15 points, 7 rebounds and was a +16 in his Celtic debut and was a factor on the defensive end blocking 2 shots.
The game quickly swung in the Celtics favor as the night went on and at one point the C’s found themselves on a 22-2 run.
What was most impressive in the Celtics’ win was what fans and media have been talking about all preseason: their depth. Brad Stevens’ bench outscored Philly’s 67-15.
It was a strong start for the C’s and will have a couple of tough tests in the Raptors and Spurs coming to town over the weekend.