The preseason is all about learning for the Boston Celtics which is why head coach Brad Stevens didn’t hesitate to put most of his younger players on the floor in closing minutes of a nail-biter Thursday night against Brooklyn.
And to their credit, they made the most of being on the floor during crunch time as the Celtics’ youngsters (with the one ‘old head’ being Gerald Green) rallied for a 100-97 Celtics win.
Boston closed out the game with an 8-2 run which included big plays by rookie Jaylen Brown.
In addition to a nifty behind-the-back pass (with his left hand) to Jordan Mickey for a go-ahead dunk, Brown capped things off with a pair of free throws.
Brown finished with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds for Boston (3-1).
As clutch as Brown’s plays were down the stretch, the Celtics got plenty of contributions from other bench players.
Jonas Jerebko, who started the final four games of last season for Boston, delivered the kind of performance that reminds us all as to why head coach Brad Stevens turned to him down the stretch last season.
He had 12 points in just 16 minutes of court time along with grabbing five rebounds and doling out three assists.
The play of Jerebko and the rest of Boston’s bench was needed on Thursday as the starters played limited minutes and in those minutes were not nearly as effective as we have seen in the past.
Al Horford had another strong game with a near double-double of 13 points and 9 rebounds in 21 minutes on 5-for-8 shooting. But the rest of Boston’s starters shot a combined 8-for-30 from the field.
The Nets were led by a pair of players with double-doubles: Luis Scola (14 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists) and Trevor Booker (11 points, 12 rebounds). Former Harvard star Jeremy Lin had 12 points and 7 assists.