You can't determine how your team will fair over the course of a full, 82-game season, based on preseason success. But the Celtics improved to 4-1 in the preseason with their 111-106 victory over the Brooklyn Nets last night, a night in which we caught a glimpse of what kind of production we'll see this season from specific players.
Amir Johnson put up 15 points on 6-8 shooting (1-1 from three point range), and also 3 rebounds and an assist in 22 minutes. The Johnson signing originally looked like the Celtics overpaid a guy to play a bench role, but after last night, he is showing that he could crack the starting job over Tyler Zeller (8 points on 3-6 shooting with 4 rebounds in 15 minutes).
Terry Rozier was a beast last night, scoring a team-high 16 points on 4-10 shooting (3-3 from three point range), as well as adding 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals in 27 minutes. The Celtics used their first of two first round picks on this guy and, based on his summer league and preseason success, proves to be worth it. I expect him to be the bench version of Marcus Smart, a defensive presence of the bench who could drop 10-15+ on any given night.
Jonas Jerebko was very good last night as well, scoring 11 points on 4-7 shooting (3-5 from deep), as well as posting 7 boards (2 offensive) and an underrated assist to Jordan Mickey in 21 minutes. I have high hopes for JJ this season and really see him being a big-time producer off the bench on this exciting Boston team.
James Young, while only putting 6 points on 2-5 shooting (2-3 from deep), with a rebound and an assist, really impressed me. This kid came up last year and didn't play well, his confidence was shoddy, and he spent a year in the D-League where he averaged over 21 points. But last night, I saw that the confidence of James Young is through the roof. This kid has no hesitation as he rises up to launch a three. Doesn't always go in, but you appreciate the confidence in a young player to take a shot when he has one lined up. Young is, kind of, forcing Ainge's hand in giving this kid a spot on the roster. He wouldn't play a prominent role, but it gives him a chance to work with Isaiah Thomas on adding moves to his game to make him a deadly weapon in the near future.
Young will likely play another year in the D-League as he, like Rozier, are unfortunate to play on a team that has depth in the backcourt.