Celtics Bench better than Phili Starters


That might be an exaggeration, but without Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Perkins, Delonte, and Shaq the Celtics’ 8th-17th men have outplayed the 76ers regular rotation through the first half. They are up by 1 after 2. Nice.

I tuned into this game to get a look at Garnett’s knee and Delonte’s ability to fit in as a 6th or 7th man, and that was a bust, but Jermaine, Nate Robinson, and Big Baby all impressed with their play. Even the deep bench and training camp guys did a nice job with pressure defense and heaps of hustle. Von Wafer and Mario West showed some spectacular speed and athleticism. One of them may steal some minutes from Daniels and Delonte helping to replace Tony Allen. The best things to see from a Celt’s fan perspective were the way Nate managed the offense and how well Jermaine fit in. Robinson took a few bailout threes, but he mostly played under control, moved the ball to the bigs, and ran sets. Jermaine controlled the defensive backboards very well, which is exactly what the team is going to need.

On the other hand, the Sixers looked godawful. Jrue Holiday was probably the most impressive player, but Iggie, Williams, Turner, Brand, and Speights looked pretty much like they belonged on the court against a second unit. If they played like that against Boston’s starters they would have been down by 17 after two quarters. Now obviously Phili is just trying to get its act together in Doug Collins’s new system and not get hurt in the preseason, but it was still a pretty sad effort to trail at the end of a half when the opponents didn’t dress their top 7 players.

It does make me dream that Boston may have the best depth in the conference. I don’t think we’ve been able to say that since Walton’s feet finally gave out in 1987.


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