Next time the Celtics go overseas, someone needs to remind them that drinking the local water is not the best idea. Other than that, everything went very well as Boston defeated Real Madrid, 111-96. Brad Stevens stuck with the same starting five, a sign that he is leaning towards this group going forward, barring injury. Once again David Lee led the way, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and one steal in just 21 minutes of play. The offense appears to be going through Lee as Boston try's to establish a legitimate low-post offense which will allow them to play inside-out, a style that wins at any level of basketball.
Avery Bradley also had an excellent game for Boston, finishing with 17 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and ZERO turnovers in 21 minutes; Bradley's handle has improved over the offseason, one of the main reasons for the lack of turnovers in his first two preseason games. The rest of the starters- Tyler Zeller, Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart, all played well, specifically Jae Crowder. Crowder finished the game with eight points, six assists, four rebounds, and just one turnover in 22 minutes played; he was a +19 for the game and appears to be the perfect "glue guy" for the starting lineup because he does everything well.
Super-sub Isaiah Thomas also had another excellent outing, finishing with 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and just one turnover; he was +8 for the game and ended up playing 25 minutes, the most of anyone on the roster. It might make more sense to start Thomas and move Smart to the bench because it will give the Celtics a better balance of offense and defense in the starting lineup, but that will ultimately be decided by Brad Stevens. Thomas and Lee' pick-and-roll talents could make the offense almost impossible to defend and has to be tempting to try. Again, it's not a guarantee to happen but it makes a lot of sense. The rookies received plenty of playing time again, but Jordan Mickey and R.J. Hunter struggled. Terry Rozier had a strong game, finishing the day with 14 points, four assists, two steals, and zero turnovers in 16 minutes of play.
The Celtics return to the states and will resume their exhibition schedule on Wednesday, October 14, and they will head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets. With two games played and strong practices overseas, Boston should be ready to take on actual NBA opponents and fans will get a better read on what this team can be.
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