Twelve days and counting. The Boston Celtics are 12 days away from Game 1 of this 2012-13 NBA Season, and it will all start with that showdown against the Miami Heat. Tonight, the Celtics took another step toward the goal of being locked and loaded, playing mostly solid basketball against the host Brooklyn Nets. Takeaways from this game? Plenty. Let’s run down the list:
- Paul Pierce may be slowing down due to age, but it doesn’t appear to be affecting him as one might suspect. The Pierce of the last five-six seasons has been very effective, even though he’s not the most athletic player at his position. He simply plays the game at his own speed, and he relies on smarts and experience to do the rest.
- Rajon Rondo continues to play the game a little too carelessly. He still has a bad habit of making sloppy passes, which lead to turnovers, which kills momentum, which puts the Celtics on their heels. Rondo really needs to clean up this aspect of his game.
- Rondo and Courtney Lee are starting to click. Lee was knocking down shots tonight, running with Rondo in the open court, and putting serious pressure on the Nets’ backcourt.
- The center position remains the team’s weakest link. Once you get past Kevin Garnett all you have at the moment is Jason Collins. Serviceable, yeah. But he looks stiff, robotic, uncomfortable. Darko Milicic still has a ways to go to prove himself, and who knows when Chris Wilcox will be back on the court. Right now I’m not impressed with the Celtic bigs as a collective group.
- Jared Sullinger needs to stay out of foul trouble if he’s going to stay on the court. He had 5 fouls early in the third quarter and had to ride the pine. We need Sullinger playing D with his feet and not his hands. Rookies don’t get calls in this league.
- I’ll be glad when the regular season starts. Pierce took a couple of tumbles tonight, and we don’t need him getting hurt playing a meaningless game.