The first preseason game was a real turnoverfest for the Celtics, but despite the TOs they crushed Charlotte, carrying a 20 point lead for most of the game and just destroying Charlotte in the garbage 4th.
With center injuries, the Celtics went "small" with Al at the 5 and White starting with Smart in the backcourt. Then in the second half they went bigger, starting Vonleh instead of White. They also played a weird lineup for a couple of minutes that had Tatum and Brown as the bigswith Smart, White, and Brogdon. Having a backcourt with that kind of size gives the Celtics some flexibility.
As a team, for the game, the Celtics had 41 assists on 48 made baskets, shot 22 of 47 from three. The only bad thing was the 23 turnovers.
Brown shot well and scored 24, Tatum shot poorly and scored 16, both turned it over a lot. Al tuned up flawlessly with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists in 17 minutes. Smart was Smart, turned it over 4 times.
The bench guys were more interesting:
Brogdon came in for the last 5-6 minutes of the first half and looked rusty. Turned the ball over twice. Then he settled down and had 6 assists in the second quarter, including setting up threes from the likes of Hauser and Grant.
Grant looked to be a little quicker when driving it than he has previously shown. Didn't play much (13 minutes) but scored 8 points and added 4 assists including a couple of nice passes.
Sam Hauser did what he was supposed to do: shoot the lights out, hitting 4 of 5 threes (all catch and shoot attempts). He also drove and had a nice lob for a Kabangele finish, and made a nice cut for a layup (his only 2 point attempt).
Mfiondu Kabangele entered the game late in the first half and immediately picked up an offensive foul trying to set a screen. Then he entered the game in the second half and was immediately called for a (defensive) goaltend. But he also scored 10 points on 4-4 shooting that included an offensive reound and difficult putback, finishing a lob from Hauser, and hitting a three.
Payton Pritchard drilled his first 3 but did not shoot well after that, but did pick up 5 sssists in 17 minutes.
Last but not least, JD Davison. He played the last 6 (admittedly preseason garbage time) minutes and just looked great. He pushed the ball, saw the floor, got to his spots on the floor, and played D. He shot 2-3 from the field (the miss being a layup that rolled off the rim) and finished with 4 points and 4 assists. A couple of nicely thrown lobs. While he was pushing it and looking to drive, he knew where his teammates were and how to get them the ball. I think NBA preseason play is a step up from NBA summer league play, and Davison seems to be the type of player who benefits from that. Anyway, great value with the #53 pick. I still think he's a project who will spend most of his time in Maine this year, but I think they might have something with this kid.