Another set back: Celtics still have two main problem to worry about after two preseason games

After two preseason games, the Celtics have proven a few things: Payton Pritchard is a future Hall of Famer, Oshae Brissett will win the dunk contest, and the Kornet Kontest is more deadly than ever.

But, while it’s necessary to take everything that happens here with a grain of salt, the preseason does provide a preview of what we might expect in the long run. Here are a few pleasant discoveries as well as some things to be concerned about moving forward.

Before you ask, the answer is no…Pritchard is not on this list. His explosion does not surprise me in the least. The man is a murderer. He was paid for a reason.

Inside Kristaps Porzingis 'Easy' Decision to Join the Celtics

Kristaps Porzingis is truly a fantastic fit.

After a whirlwind offseason filled with franchise-altering changes, now is as good a moment as any to examine what the Celtics have.

The Celtics had already acquired a very skilled player in Kristaps Porzingis. What we didn’t know was how he’d fit in with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the rest of the core.
Yes, it’s a small sample size, but I was pleasantly pleased by how natural the fit appeared. They appeared to have been playing together for years. Porzingis has stated that he wants to make Tatum and Brown’s lives simpler, and that is exactly what he did against the 76ers.

His ability to spread the floor, post up, and change shots at the basket

That’s a really tall, versatile, and skilled man. It was a fantastic deal.

Is there enough glass for the Celtics?

Porzingis undoubtedly helps, but I’m interested to see if the Celtics can compete on the glass.

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Tatum is a valuable rebounder. Is it possible that he will lead the team again? That’s not ideal, but I suppose it works. Al Horford, Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, and Brown will all have to chip in.

In both games, the Celtics outrebounded their opponents. Nothing they did or did not accomplish in that area stood out, but I am mildly concerned about this team’s ability to keep up on the boards with large and physical teams in the long run.

Svi Mykhailiuk is a pure shooter.

I knew this, so it wasn’t really surprising, but it was fun to see him go off in a Celtics uniform. This pickup actually appeals to me.

Sure, Mykhailiuk isn’t the finest defender in history, but the Celtics don’t need him to be. He’s the type of guy who can give you two or three 3s in a few minutes and transform the game’s complexion. Some of the men can shoot it. Mykhailiuk is capable of shooting it.

Plus, with such elite defenders surrounding him, that weakness will be minimized.

I’d like to see him make the team and contribute on a consistent basis.

Is Sam Hauser on the verge of being benched?

It’s only two preseason games, so it’s hardly much, but Sam Hauser shot a combined 2 for 15 from 3 (0 for 0 from 2) and looked off both nights.

When shots aren’t dropping, it might be difficult to create a rhythm as a shooter. I expect him to get back on track and keep his slot as the seventh or eighth man, but if he struggles from outside, Mykhailiuk might steal his place.

I give Hauser the minor defensive advantage, Mykhailiuk the slight playmaker advantage, and believe they’re ultimately about equal as shooters. Joe Mazzulla has the option of going with whoever is hot that night, but I believe the pressure is on Hauser to ensure that person is him.

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Lamar Stevens is a versatile player.

Lamar Stevens has a good chance of getting regular minutes, in my opinion. He’s one of those players who is always at the right place at the right time and makes the winning play.

He’s simply too efficient to keep off the ground. If he can come in and provide the Celtics with instant energy in only 10 minutes per night, that might go a long way. He’s an outstanding defender who can essentially guard 1-5 and rotates exceptionally well.

Stevens is also an excellent driver and finisher who is capable of shooting three-pointers. I’d like to see him on the floor with Holiday, Tatum, Porzingis, and Horford, perhaps as a floor spacer on one end and a pest on the other.

Is Luke Kornet the solution?

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I’m a major Kornet fan who, like Brad Stevens, believes he’s underappreciated.

He’s serviceable, clever, has a soft touch, and for a player his size, he sees the floor well. My main concern is on defense and as a rebounder.

While I see why others may disagree with this viewpoint, I’m not convinced he can be the eighth or ninth guy on a championship squad.
Can Kornet do enough in the paint if the Celtics go with a lineup like White, Brown, Tatum, Brissett, and Kornet? Can Porzingis guard a tough rival big and match his physicality if he is on the bench and Horford is out? The answer could be yes, but I need to witness it numerous times before I believe it.

It t seems like Kornet will play. Is he ready for an increased role? We’ll find out soon enough.

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