Brad Stevens mentioned before the game that he wanted to get the young guys, the Celtics deep bench, as much playing time as possible. So, as one would expect, the starters didn’t play in the second half. But before we get to the bench, and how impressive they were, let’s see how the starters did in the first half.
Isaiah Thomas was a perfect 6/6 from the field, and scored a blistering 19 points in 15 minutes. He nailed a three right before the end of the half. Thomas looked like he is in mid-season form. If he can build on the momentum he gained tonight, going into the regular season, that will be a good thing for the Celtics.
The other starters also played well. Crowder was solid offensively, and is a handful on the ball defensively. Amir had a nice game, with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. The Celtics lead by 12 at halftime.
The big story of the game, however, was the bench. Especially the Celtics deep bench. The Celtics bench outscored the Nets 71-48. They not only maintained the lead, they extended the lead. The Celtics won this one going away, by 21 points.
James Young and Jaylen Brown both had good games. Brown was second on the Celtics in scoring with 12 points, off of 5 for 8 shooting, and Young poured in 10 points along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Young has impressed be on the glass this pre-season, and that continued tonight. He seems like a more complete player overall, and the improvements across the board are noticeable.
Even more impressive is that, during the 4th, when guys like Demetrius Jackson and Ben Bentil were sharing the court with Young and Hunter and others, the Celtics continued to play well and maintain, or even push, their lead. Jackson and Bentil didn’t have stat lines that jumped off the page, But they performed admirable, and had several key plays in the 4th quarter. The deep bench was able to keep their foot on the pedal and that is all you can ask for.