The Boston Celtics were able to grab a win in their 2016-17 season opener last night. They squeezed one out while hosting the Brooklyn Nets, by a final score of 122-117. There was a great amount of fan anticipation regarding the newest member of the squad, Al Horford. Also, many were excited to see Gerald Green back in green, as well as Terry Rozier's offseason improvement.
There were a decent amount of positives to take away from their performance last night. The first and most obvious is that Isaiah Thomas is still playing phenomenally. A large chunk of the NBA fan population claimed that IT's 2015-16 all-star worthy season was a fluke. Well, his 25 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds, to go along with a +/- of +19 would say otherwise. He looked quick and smooth. Thomas who has been known to look to score before pass for his entire career, was spreading the ball and making plays all night long. We began to see him further and hone in his true PG ability towards the end of last season. Well, after last night I am willing to say he is amongst the best point guards in the NBA, granted this depends on whether or not that style of play continues.
As far as Horford's performance went, he played alright. He had 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Don't get me wrong, those stats are plenty good. He was all over the board. However, I was looking for more of a 15 and 10 type of night from him. I am not too content with the starting center dissing more assists than he grabs rebounds. Overall, he was satisfactory in my mind. He made a huge difference in the game. It just did not show up in the stat sheet as much as I would've liked to have seen. No big deal though.
Now let me put Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley on a pedestal for a second. These two were electric. Especially when on the court together. Crowder finished with 21 points while shooting 60% from the field (9-15). Bradley finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Keep in mind I am talking about their offense. They did play well on D last night, but their offensive game was the true take away.
So here come the negatives... One of which disappointed me and one thing that bugged me last night. Terry Rozier, the epitome of disappointment. Nearly 30 minutes played, 5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Yes he covered multiple categories on the stat sheet, but with those numerical values it seems he has not taken any steps forward. Rozier would've put up numbers like that if he played 30 minutes a game last season. Now I do indeed think he will turn it around and turn it up, but as of the first game of the season, he did not perform up to my expectations. He is going to be the guy that fills in for Evan Turner. Last season, when the starters needed a rest, Evan Turner provided scoring off the bench. Rozier is going to have to step it up if he is going to fit into that role.
So overall the Celtics looked pretty good. They did not finish the game, letting the Nets go on a 16-4 run with just a few minutes left in the game. I am hoping if the score was closer and they were playing better competition they would be able to close. We shall see how the team looks in the future. Currently, we have a sample size of one regular season game. Regardless of how they are playing, I am ecstatic to have the green back in action.