Courtside: Celtics-Raptors Report
We just have time for a few quick notes as the RotoWidow and I have to head out to hockey shortly. So I’ll dispense with the intro, other than to say the Raps stayed perfect for the preseason with a big comeback 106-102 win in Boston.
- Chris Bosh sat out another game. He needs to play in the final pre-season game tomorrow night to get ready for next week’s opener.
- Paul Pierce, suffering from an infected middle finger, was out as well. Nothing like stripping the game of its two best players, eh? By the way, Pierce suffered this injury from a paper cut. Watch out for that paper, kids. It’ll slice you up.
- Wally Szczerbiak was doing his best Pierce impression, drawing fouls right, left and centre. He was draining everything, but looked a bit shaky with the outlet passes.
- Al Jefferson is playing centre with Theo Ratliff out with a bulging disk. Jefferson says that playing C is no different than PF. It’s all about positioning, not size he says. Sure. So says the undersized centre.
- Delonte West needs to understand that when he’s at the two guard, he’s got to play a different game. He keeps playing like a PG, passing up shots he needs to be taking. You’re a shooting guard, Delonte. Shoot the ball.
- The Raptors again had trouble on defense early, allowing the Celtics to shoot 59 percent in the first quarter. Imagine how good this team would be if it didn’t keep spotting its opponent 30 or more points every opening quarter?
- Just 1:24 into the second quarter and Fred Jones already has three fouls and a seat on the bench. So, needless to say, he didn’t play as much, but still managed to drain all three of his shots from downtown. This guy does a bit of everything.
- Wally World starts the game 5-for-7 and is looking smooth from downtown. All told he goes 10-for-19 and a perfect 5-for-5 from the line.
- Michael Olowakandi isn’t playing much over the past week and I’m not sure why, especially since the team has asked for waivers on Brian Grant. What is Boston going to do for bigs? Celts are going to be playing a lot of small ball this year barring a trade.
- Tommy Heinsohn knows his Celtics, but he really needs to shut up when talking about anything else. I can’t stand announcers who are either too lazy to research their team’s opponents or — even worse — pretend they know what they are talking about when clearly they don’t. Case in point: Heinsohn is going on about what a good shooter Jose Calderon is, as all Europeans are, he suggests (nothing like a little stereotyping there). He’s especially great from three-point range, Heinsohn adds. Um, yeah. Calderon’s biggest weakness is his shooting ability and he couldn’t nail a three pointer from college range. Sorry, man, I’m going to have to deduct a Tommy Point for that miscue.
- Allan Ray gives the Celts another great FT shooter. He was 88.9 per cent from the stripe last year at ‘Nova.
- Morris Peterson is shooting way better this game, nailing 14 points in the first half and 21 overall (draining 8 of 15).
- T.J. Ford is out again, but Calderon again does a great job running the offense. He scores 19 (on 11-for-11 shooting from the line) and adds seven dimes. The Raptors finally have some depth at PG, which will come in handy because Ford is injury prone. By the way, am I the only one creeped out by how much Calderon resembles Y & R character Kevin Fisher?
- Raps keep draining from long distance. How about 10-for-22?
- Pierce and Allen Iverson — The Truth and The Answer — are the only two players who scored at least 15 points in every game they played last year.
- Gerald Green hustles his ass off and his defense is improving. Yes, he’s a project, but man, what talent.
- Kris Humphries, starting in place of Bosh, was again solid with 13 points and seven boards. I am loving this kid.
- Wally going one-on-one is a scary sight.