10/06/2019 By RJ Curreri
The Celtics opened up their season last night with a 107-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets in exhibition play. The C’s struggled to take control early on but eventually pulled away with the help of some much-needed energy off the bench.
Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter made their anticipated debut. Walker finished with 12 points and four assists in 21 minutes of action. Kanter scored 11 points on four of four shooting and brought in four rebounds in 20 minutes.
Former Celtic, Terry Rozier made his return to the Garden tonight. Rozier signed a three year 56.7 million dollar deal with the Hornets in the offseason. Rozier had nine points along with eight assists in 22 minutes.
Going into the game, fans were anticipating what lineup six-year head coach Brad Stevens would roll out, and many were pleased to see Robert Williams III take his place at the starting center position.
Williams, who didn’t see much time last season, kicked off the game with an electric alley-oop dunk from Gordon Hayward. Those two points would prove to be his only points during his ten minutes on the court. Williams would also add two blocks.
Jayson Tatum led the team in scoring with 20 points on 57.1% shooting from the field and right behind him was new addition Javonte Green who contributed to the Celtics big bench run, finished the game with 15 points, many of which were the result of some impressive dunks under the basket. This game marked Green’s first NBA game as his professional career has been spent overseas in Spain, Italy, and Germany.
Despite the low-stakes game, Celtics fans were vocal about their excitement for the season and the introductions of the teams many rookies, especially Tacko Fall.
Early on, fans in attendance could be heard chanting “We want Tacko!” from the stands. Fall, who made a splash in the NCAA Tournament for UCF earlier this year, made his presence felt in the second half, scoring his first basket on a put back dunk. Fall finished the night with five points, three rebounds, and two blocks. Fans are hoping this small sample will be enough to convince Danny Ainge to sign the 7’7 big man to a contract.
The Celtics will find themselves on the road for their next preseason game this Friday against the Orlando Magic.