Celtics

Teague is just what the doctor ordered for Celtics' bench

Celtics

The Boston Celtics made it as interesting as they possibly could, but they were able to edge out the Milwaukee Bucks 122-121 in Wednesday night's season opener.

After blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, the C's found themselves on the verge of a devastating loss. Jayson Tatum hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left, and then a questionable foul call on Tristan Thompson nearly sent the game into overtime. Fortunately for Boston, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his second foul shot and the Celtics earned the win.

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There was plenty to overreact to as the C's start their season off 1-0. Here were some of the main takeaways:

1. Jeff Teague has fixed the Celtics' lackluster bench scoring.

Jayson Tatum stole the show with his game-winner and Jaylen Brown led the team with 33 points, but Jeff Teague's effort in his Celtics debut did not go unnoticed.

Teague did exactly what he was brought to Boston to do: provide a spark off the C's bench that was missing last season. The veteran point guard finished with 19 points (7-for-15) and four assists in 25 minutes. 

While it was an encouraging start for Teague, the rest of the Celtics second unit will need to step up. Semi Ojeleye was the next leading scorer on the bench with five points.

 

Verdict: Overreaction

2. Tristan Thompson will be key to the Celtics' success this season.

Thompson was limited in most of camp with a hamstring strain and didn't play during the preseason, but you wouldn't notice by watching him play in Wednesday night's opener.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers big man made his presence felt instantly in his Celtics debut and showed just how important he'll be to this team's success going forward. Boston has badly needed a big man with Thompson's skillset, and it was refreshing to see his addition pay dividends right away on both ends of the floor.

Thompson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

3. Jaylen Brown is making the All-Star leap in Year 4

Brown was snubbed from last year's NBA All-Star Game, and it sure looks like he isn't going to let that happen again this season.

The 24-year-old was Boston's best player on Wednesday night tallying 33 points (13-for-24), five rebounds, four assists and two steals. There's no doubt the Celtics need Brown to take another step forward in his development if they're to have any shot at an NBA title, and his performance certainly showed the potential is there. Don't forget that Brown also was the C's most consistent player during their time in the NBA's Orlando bubble.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

Next up for the Celtics is a Christmas Day matchup vs. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and the Brooklyn Nets. That game will tip off at 5 p.m. ET.