So last night the Celtics suffered a measure of payback for that 40-point rout of the Knicks last week, losing at MSG, 94-87. This sort of feels like the first real loss of the preseason, since Saturday's defeat came with Pierce and Garnett in street clothes. It was actually a pretty interesting game to watch, since it highlighted a couple areas of potential improvement that had been easy to miss in the earlier, easier games.
-For all the hand-wringing over the point guard situation, this team's lack of size and low-post presence might be an even bigger question mark (Sean the Fox has been all over this one). Perk sat out last night and the C's were absolutely screwed down low for most of the game. It wasn't pretty, and if Perk ends up with some nagging injury like the ones that have plagued him in past seasons, numerous games will be lost on account of this deficiency. Again, I'm not sure why we cut Batista.
-Scal needs to play better. Tim astutely mentioned in his last post that Scal's going to get a lot of run this year, and judging from last night, he's going to get a lot of open looks as well. Also judging from last night, he might drive C's fans crazy with his spotty ability to capitalize on these situations. Early in last night's game Scal received multiple feeds from Garnett for wide open looks on the perimeter, and missed most of them badly. I'm honestly not sure if Scal is used to getting so many shots, but there needs to be more consistency, because guys like him and Rondo and Posey are going to be the ones that other teams dare to beat them.
Obviously it was just pre-season, so we need to take all this for what it's worth, which might be nothing. Everyone knew the Knicks were a much better team than the one that lost by 40 the other night, so that probably has something to do with it. Still, this was the first game in which your 2007-2008 Celtics looked like a highly-beatable team, and that alone made this one an interesting watch.