BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens was asked before Friday night's intrasquad scrimmage what would constitute a success for his team during its annual session in front of season-ticket holders at TD Garden.
"Well, we should win," deadpanned Stevens. "So that’s good."
The Celtics engaged in two 12-minute scrimmages to highlight the 90-minute workout. The constant: Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart were on the winning side of both games, the duo swapped between games, but bringing their winning ways from the White team to the Green.
Olynyk highlighted the first scrimmage with 12 points as the White squad nearly doubled up the Green, 33-17 (Olynyk and Smart were joined in that starting lineup by Brandon Bass, Gerald Wallace, and Avery Bradley). Green, which also featured Evan Turner and Marcus Thornton, extracted revenge in Game 2 with Jared Sullinger putting up 18 points while hitting 7 of the 8 shots he put up.
Both rookies Smart and James Young had their moments and more than held their own in our first glimpse of them in 5-on-5 action. Second-year guard Phil Pressey showed an improved shooting touch from beyond the arc, while newcomer Tyler Zeller had nice moments around the basket.
Stevens was simply happy to give the fans something to enjoy as Boston preps for four exhibition games next week.
"I’m glad that the Garden was available and I’m glad that our corporate offices worked out tonight to do it," said Stevens."Last year, we had this later in the preseason, we had already played eight exhibition games, and we needed a couple days off more than we needed an open practice. So we came out here and didn’t do much. I felt like it would be better to scrimmage."
Stevens let his assistants coach the games and bounced between both benches chatting with individual players.
"Usually in practice when we go live, I usually give a team to two assistants and then another team to the others," said Stevens. "It’s a great time for me to catch up with the individuals and talk to them. I’m just going to be in evaluation mode, then I’ll get in the film, evaluate some more, we’ll take [Saturday] off and then Sunday, we’ll start to make some progress toward what we’re going to do on Monday night" during the team's exhibition opener.
Scrimmage 2 closed with some of the end-of-the-roster bodies getting a chance to audition, including newcomers Dwight Powell and Erik Murphy. With both sides thin on depth and running on fumes, Stevens ended the final scrimmage with about 30 seconds left on the clock.
Smart thanked the crowd for coming out and all the team's players, including Rajon Rondo, gathered to toss T-shirts to fans. Sullinger signed his shoes and gave them to fans as he returned to the locker room.
GREEN STRAINS CALF
Celtics swingman Jeff Green suffered a left calf strain during the second scrimmage and did not return to the practice.
The injury did not look serious, but Green returned to the locker room with trainer Ed Lacerte.
Neither Vitor Faverani (knee) nor Joel Anthony (groin) participated in the session. Rondo was on the floor throwing passes to teammates during warmups, but wore a soft cast over his left hand.
Green and his teammates will get a chance to heal up on Saturday as the team enjoys its first offday since camp opened on Tuesday.
Welcome to the NBA, rookies. Celtics first-round picks Smart and Young were forced to share a locker on Friday night at TD Garden. The pair need not worry, a trim to 15 players before the start of the regular season will ensure their own slice of real estate. For now, the team did its best to house the 17 players competing for spots and recent additions Murphy and Powell also shared a locker. The team's three training camp invites settled for chairs in the middle of the Celtics' cramped locker room.