The Celtics were impressive in their first Summer League game. The final score was Celtics 74 and Blazers 66, but the game was no where near that close. The Celtics led by as many as 25 but got sloppy in the 4th quarter allowing the Blazers to make a run amd make the game look closer than it actually was. The Celtics led virtually the entire game.
Before the game, it was all about Oden, but after the game, the talk was about Leon Powe who out played Oden despite a height disadvantage. From the opening tip where Powe out jumped Oden to win the tip until the 4th quarter, Powe out hustled Oden on both ends of the court. Powe finished with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 1 steal and only committed 1 turnover in 36 minutes. He didn't back down from Oden and took the ball hard at him, going down hard, but drawing the foul. Oden finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds, 4 turnovers, and 10 fouls in 20 minutes of play. Leon just brings such intensity and toughness to the team. Doc said that as long as he coaches he hopes to have Leon on the team.
Big Baby Davis seemed to have some jitters in his first game but he showed some flashes. He played tough and rebounded the ball well. He finished with 3 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 8 fouls. Brandon Wallace was very impressive. He is long and very athletic. He also has a smooth shot and played some good defense inside. He finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal. He is someone we should keep an eye on and may need to find room on the roster for.
Allred was the only other big who saw decent minutes. He played 16 minutes and finished with 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. He played well but didn't stand out. Glyniadakis got into the game for 2:37 but didn't do anything of note.
Rondo looked to be in mid season form already. He ran the team with confidence and although he didn't look for his shot, he did get to the line 3 times and hit the shot of the game when he hit a shot from about 3/4 court to end the first quarter. He finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist and was very active on defense and hustled after every loose ball.
Gabe Pruitt played 17 minutes, mostly at the point. He hit 3 of 6 shots for 7 points and had 1 steal. The offense slowed down when Rondo went out, but he did a decent job for his first time out. Like Big Baby, he showed flashes of promise. Allan Ray shot 3-10 from the floor and finished with 11 points to go with 6 rebounds and 2 assists.
Gerald Green looks like he has gained some muscle and played with confidence. He finished with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block in 19 minutes. In the first quarter, he flew in from nowhere for a put back dunk that was quite impressive. His defense looks improved as well.
Sanchez, Hicks, Francis, and Carroll did not play in the game. This was an impressive win in that we were at a distinct height disadvantage and we won it with defense, hustle, and toughness. Players were diving for loose balls and battling inside for rebounds and best of all, they were playing team defense.
The NBA-TV announcers, including former Celtic Michael Smith, were very high on the Celtics. They said that they felt that Ray, Paul, and Al with Perk and Rondo might be best starting five in East. They both praised Ryan Gomes and love his game. They both said that they miss Al Jefferson this year as they enjoyed watching him the last 3 years and feel that he is going to be an all star. They both felt that Leon Powe was the best player on the court for either team. It was a very good start to the Summer League and has to make Celtics fans excited about the coming season.