2016-17 NBA Season Week 1 Recap: Boston Celtics
So week 1 of the NBA season is in the books, and for the most part, everything has been business as usual. Anthony Davis is still the only remotely talented player on the Pelicans, Boogie Cousins is still seeing how many times he can get T'd up before the Kings realize they need to trade him, and Joakim Noah's shot is still Sam Cassel ugly. The Celtics came out of week 1 with a 2-1 record, and for them I'm sure they're disappointed. They started the season with two key members of their bench, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk, out with injuries. But Smart is expected to return in tonight's home game against the Bulls, and Kelly will be back within a week or so. Unfortunately, neither one of them will help much in an area the Celtics need it the most: rebounding. The C's are the shortest team in the league in average height (don't ask me how I know that), so while the addition of Horford is definitely an upgrade, they will miss Sullinger's work on the boards.
Game 1 started off exactly how Boston had hoped. They opened at home against Jeremy Lin and the Brooklyn Nets (I chuckled after reading that out loud) and the final score wasn't a good representation of how the game went. The Celtics were up 20+ points in the fourth quarter when Brad Stevens decided to clear the bench. This turned out to be a pretty bad idea as he watched the Nets' bench cut the lead down to single digits, and at one point as low as 3. So a pissed off Stevens was forced to reinsert his starters to close the game out, which is something a Head Coach never wants to do, especially on the first night of a back to back.
The next day was their first of many nationally televised games against the new look Chicago Bulls. I have to admit, the Bulls might be a tiny bit better than I expected them to be, but it's way too early to tell. D Wade will eventually have some type of injury, Rondo will end up pissing off his coaches and/or teammates, and Jimmy Butler will play extensive minutes like he's still playing for Tom Thibs. One thing I do know is they will NEVER shoot that well from the 3 point arc ever again. I mean, they were hitting so many 3's even Gabrielle Union had to tweet that she didn't recognize who D Wade was. And the fact that they had to play the best game of their lives to narrowly beat us has me liking our chances against Chicago later on down the line.
Finally, the C's traveled to Charlotte to play Michael Jordan's Hornets in a match against two playoff teams from last year. The Hornets regressed a bit, but they will still be a fun team to watch. Avery Bradley went OFF in this game and hit 8 3's, finishing with a huge double-double and a career high in rebounds. It was a tight game down the stretch, one in which we could have definitely used Smart's defensive prowess and KO's ability to stretch the floor, but Thomas and Bradley were able to pull it off.
· Horford is a GREAT fit. He may not put up crazy numbers but his effect on the game can't be quantified. Whether it's the way he sets picks, makes the extra pass, or communicates on D, a lot of what he does well isn’t in the stat sheet
· This team needs to vastly improve their rebounding. Playing good defense for 24 seconds doesn't mean anything if you give up an easy second chance bucket
· IT is going to have another All-Star season, he's basically going out there and saying "Shit, I don’t care if Al is out there I'm still getting my 25"
· Avery Bradley continues his streak of improving one thing about his game each year, and this year he's clearly looking to become a force on both ends of the floor