New city, same results. On the second and final leg of their European tour, the Celtics improved to 2-0 in the preseason with a 111-96 victory against Real Madrid.
Avery Bradley led the team with 17 points, while Isaiah Thomas (15 points), Terry Rozier (14), and David Lee (13) also finished in double figures. Former Georgia Bulldog, Trey Thompkins, led all scorers, notching 24 points for Real Madrid.
For a complete box score, click here. But here’s what you really need to know.
David Lee, Double-Double Machine
Celtics fans should get used to seeing the following sentence: Lee finished the game with a double-double. He quietly pulled down a game-high 11 boards, good for five more than anyone else on the team. Lee was again impressive on offense, making a number of nice passes while continuing to be aggressive when rolling to the rim. If you put your ear to the ground, you can hear the faint sound of the David Lee HypeTrain leaving the station.
Nobody Puts Bradley in the Corner
For the majority of last year and a number of times this offseason, I loudly criticized Bradley’s shot selection, specifically his propensity to take long 2-pointers. On media day, Bradley noted this was something he was working on, saying “long 2’s don’t make as much sense as a 3-pointer.” During the first two games of the preseason, Bradley made 7-of-8 3-pointers, all of which came from the corner. One play perfectly displayed Bradley’s new approach. After receiving a pass in the right corner, Bradley pump-faked, then sidestepped before hitting the 3. Last year, he would have taken two dribbles to take a pull-up jumper. Thursday, he only took one long 2, and I can’t even fault him for it because he was wide open.
Although he did not turn in the most impressive stat line (6 points, 3 rebounds), Kelly Olynyk did do this while rocking a man bun/ponytail. (h/t to Jay King for the Vine and nickname)
The Celtics‘ first-round pick turned in a another solid performance running the third-team offense. Already an elite athlete, Rozier is attacking the paint well, running pick and rolls and knocking down open shots. He finished 6-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from distance in Spain. While many expect him to spend a lot of time this season with the Red Claws, I wouldn’t be surprised if he stuck with the big-league club, playing a similar role to Phil Pressey the past couple of seasons.
Bae Shares the Rock
Jae Crowder is not known for his ability as a passer, but Thursday he lead the team with six assists. It is entirely too early to try predict the starting lineup, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up being the starting small forward.
Paging Dr. Young, Dr. James Young
WHERE ARE YOU?
Doncic Wish Your Girlfriend was Hot Like Me
This may be the only chance I get to reference a Pussy Cat Dolls song during a game recap, so I had to take the opportunity. Slovenian Luka Doncic played 15 minutes for Real Madrid, scoring only one point. Normally this wouldn’t be impressive, except for the fact that Doncic is 16 YEARS OLD! He was born in 1999! He grew up in a world never knowing the intense fear associated with Y2K, and tonight he got paid to play basketball against the Boston Celtics. Thats really wild stuff.
The Celtics will return home Friday and play their first NBA exhibition on Tuesday, when they take on the Nets in Brooklyn.
Follow Sam Packard on Twitter @WEEICeltics.