Early Thoughts



Mark Berry via celtics celtics at igtc.com
Thu Nov 12 16:44:41 UTC 2015


Some early impressions while trying to forget about last night's debacle:

*Pleasant Surprises*

Sully ... He came back fat and looked lousy in the preseason, but he's
playing great now that the games count. I'm not sure, but it looks like he
may even have dropped some pounds since Media Day -- not that I trust him
to keep them off.

Olynyk ... He hasn't been great, but he has been solid. The little fallaway
he's using when he's closer to the basket is a nice addition -- he isn't
getting blocked nearly as much. But he needs to start hitting some threes.

RJ Hunter ... I like this kid. Great basketball IQ and a beautiful stroke.
I'm hoping he can supplant Bradley at some point at the shooting guard spot.

Evan Turner ... Drives me crazy at times, but he has been terrific. He and
Sully probably have been the team's best, most consistent players.

*Mild Disappointments*

Isaiah Thomas ... He hasn't been terrible, but he hasn't been great either.
Not shooting well, dominating the ball, careless turnovers. The PPG numbers
are great, but his overall impact hasn't been as positive as it was last
season -- part of that is being forced to start in Smart's absence.

Amir Johnson ... I didn't expect huge numbers, but Amir has been terrible.
Bad hands, dumb fouls, turnovers. Let's hope it's just a slow start,
because right now he's no better than our fifth best big (behind Sully,
Olynyk, Lee and Jerebko).

Tyler Zeller ... Disastrous start. Just awful. I'm sure he'll get another
chance and I can't imagine he forgot how to play, but it's impossible to
overstate his Mark Blount-ness.

General Observations

Marcus Smart ... It's a shame, but I get the feeling we're going to be well
into December before we see the real guy. Love the defense, but the rest of
the game remains a work in progress. I'm high on him, but the injuries and
slow shooting start have to temper my expectations for a breakout year.

Avery Bradley ... Really frustrating player. Has any good defender ever
made more dumb fouls? He bails out jump-shooters too often and has to lead
the league in fouls against three-point shooters. Offensively, he's still a
ball-stopping chucker. The extended range is a definite positive and he's
showing signs of improving his ball-handling, but I'm beginning to think
Avery is a net negative. Traditional stats look solid, but he hasn't been
on the floor for some of our best stretches. Of course, it's early.

David Lee ... Finding his groove against backup bigs. Of course, Amir
Johnson has had his best minutes against backup bigs as well. I think the
lesson here is both guys are backup bigs at this point.

Jae Crowder ... Love how hard he plays, like his defense. Don't love the
offensive package. Looks better playing a smallball power forward, but
hasn't had the opportunity to do that as much this season. This team needs
a good, creative wing -- preferably one with the size to defend the Paul
Georges of the world.

Jonas Jerebko ... Like Crowder, best suited as a smallball power forward,
and he's seeing minutes at that spot. I love the way he plays and would
like to see more of him. I'm hoping that happens as the frontcourt rotation
sorts itself out via play, injury or trade.

I was feeling good about this team before last night. That was miserable to
watch. I'm chalking some of it up to terrible officiating (both ways --
just no flow to that game), some of it to injuries, but we've seen too many
lackluster efforts at home already. There are times the ball really sticks
with Thomas and Turner -- and Bradley, when he's in the lineup. When it's
moving inside-out and side-to-side, this team is good. When it isn't, it
isn't.

*The DeMarcus Cousins Conversation*

It's all over the internet today, so we might as well address it. I
wouldn't give up the Brooklyn pick this season for Boogie. No way. In fact,
I'd only trade for him at a serious discount. He's a talent, but I think
he's a losing player. No thanks.

Mark


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