The Boston Celtics have a lot of warts, there is no arguing that point. Their first two games have offered some exciting moments (albeit preseason basketball excitement), while also reinforcing some of the concerns that bubbled up over the summer.
However, one of the bright spots against the New York Knicks was the guts and determination of the players way down the bench. Phil Pressey and Mike Babb were stupendous. As Tom Heinsohn said following the game, "it showed our third unit is better than their third unit." While that is true, it also showed that these players are not going to quit, and it proved that they have something to play for.
Over the course of the season, Pressey and the other members of the third unit will get their chances in practice, and it looks like they will push the second unit. Minutes are still available for a lot of players, meaning any sort of competition is positive. It helps a team get better.
It's like that scene in Rudy where he's going as hard as possible and Vince Vaughn's character is mad at him for trying too hard. It seems possible that Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green get annoyed that these youngsters are trying so hard each and everyday.
In the long run, the end of the bench could add some spunk and attitude to the rest of the players. Determination is paramount when building a team over the course of a year or two.
The other bright spot is that Brad Stevens continued to coach while the game was out of reach. Striving for improvement and pushing his players will serve him well over the season and into future seasons.
Tonight's game against the Philadelphia 76ers could show that Celtics fans are lucky to have such an energetic team in contrast to the 76ers who seem destined for a long, sluggish, and win-starved year.
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