The Celtics beat the Hornets tonight, 107-106, in their preseason opener. There was a lot to like, and a lot to be concerned about. My quick thoughts:
1. The interior defense was (predictably) bad. For about 2.5 quarters, the Hornets got whatever they wanted in the paint. Both teams played starters and it was Charlotte led 75-58 with 8 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. This is where I remind you the Hornets are one of the worst teams in the league.
2. The reprogrammed Jayson Tatum sure looks good.
It looks like the coaching staff removed all the “Kobe” from his system.
3. Robert Williams needs less caffeine or Adderall. The 2nd year big man was flying all over the court and not in a good way. Sure, he got a few of his patented volleyball spike blocks, but Williams’ over pursuit on several plays led to easy buckets for the Hornets. I have slim hopes Williams will be good enough to start, but tonight’s showing did little to support that.
4. Carsen Edwards is A LOT of fun. The quick-release we fell in love with at Summer League is back. Edwards dropped 11 points (3-6 3 FG) in 18 minutes.
5. I’ll probably catch some flack for this but… the Tacko Fall chants are a bit much. This team has legit players, budding superstars, intriguing rookies, and the fans are chanting for a 7-7 project in the 1st quarter? It’s gimmicky and small market. Brad called on Tacko in the 4th quarter and he responded with 5 points and 2 blocks. Enjoy him now because Tacko should be in the G-league all year.