After Jabari Parker had signed with the Celtics the day earlier than, he rapidly had the prospect to prevail in opposition to the visiting Golden State Warriors within the first quarter. The early returns supplied the form of inconsistencies that plagued a profession that didn’t reside as much as expectations.
When Parker checked into play within the first quarter lower than 5 minutes earlier than the sport was as a result of begin, he instantly flipped the ball in successive possessions by first making an attempt to hit Marcus Good on the other wing earlier than fumbling a go the following time he performed the paint had minimize by means of.
He crashed into the attacking glass so laborious that he scored two rebounds and 4 factors. He additionally allowed Juan Toscano-Anderson to blow barely previous the baseline to do a reverse layup, which Jeff Van Gundy instantly identified as a side Parker wanted to work on.
Parker undoubtedly had some rust to shake off after enjoying lower than half-hour all through the season, however he did not by accident search for a brand new residence this late within the season. He is performed on 4 groups prior to now three years for a motive. That mentioned, Parker’s antiquated offensive fashion and strict defensive restraints ought to have softened expectations for his function in Boston.
With a remarkably skinny bench within the absence of Jaylen Brown, Evan Fournier and Robert Williams, Brad Stevens gave Parker an early shot. However in a detailed recreation, the depth of which solely elevated over time, it was laborious to think about that Stevens would discover extra alternatives to supply the most recent Celtic on his debut.
Besides that Stevens did simply that, placing Parker again right into a four-point recreation with 3:01 within the third recreation. What adopted as much as the 6-9 mark of the fourth wasn’t as vital to Boston’s 119-114 win as Jayson Tatum’s 44 factors, Kemba’s 26, or Good’s well timed video games, nevertheless it was fairly an addition to serving to an exhausted group win their sixth straight recreation.
In line with Stevens’ personal statements, Boston was lacking a success early within the fourth quarter. Tatum and Walker missed their first pictures of the body when the Warriors scored 5 unanswered hits to create a 5 level lead with Stephen Curry on the bench.
After firing simply one among his first 4 pictures to open the quarter, Stevens known as for trip and arrange a recreation for Parker, who with three factors in three minutes had constructed up some momentum to complete third. He carved a put up exterior of the restricted space earlier than working in opposition to Kevon Looney.
Within the midst of fixed group adjustments and two ACL operations, it is easy to overlook how simply Parker can briefly put the ball within the basket. He had that footwork and that middle-class contact that goes again to his lonely season at Duke.
Getting as small as Boston is all the time dangerous, however Tristan Thompson took a breather, Williams was inactive, and Luke Kornet was a minus-6 within the 5 and a half minutes he noticed within the second quarter. So Stevens determined to make use of dexterity and made certain he used it to gas the offense. Boston hit three of their subsequent 5 pictures to take them some extent earlier than Parker got here on for Thompson.
“Nicely, we went by means of that stretch early within the fourth quarter the place we needed to rating,” mentioned Stevens. “He (Parker) gave us some alternatives there in each the primary and second halves as he performed on the baseline, performed to his strengths and did numerous good issues.”
Parker completed his Celtic debut 5-of-6 off the sector for 11 factors in 16 minutes, a useful hit within the absence of Brown and Fournier. Extra spectacular than the whole within the score column was how there have been 4 offensive rebounds that led to eight of those factors.
“We’re simply telling him to exit and play as laborious as doable,” mentioned Good of his latest team-mate. “All the things else will fall into it. We are going to work you in on the items and stroll you thru them. Don’t worry about it. Simply go play laborious. “
His efforts have been significantly rewarded within the fourth quarter when a Kent Bazemore rip-off put him within the excellent place to scrub up a wise airball and provides Boston the lead.
On a group that lacks gamers to place the ball within the basket on their very own, the Celtics do not want Parker to revive a fallen profession that made him the following large scorer in 2014. What they bought on his debut: Power and Effort so as to add to the stream of the sport with out making an attempt to overhaul it.
That mentality helped him get better from a doubtful begin in his first couple of minutes and switch his head on the ultimate stretch. It’s also what’s going to in the end outline the final cease in a profession that has been in quest of stability for a number of years. With Boston making an attempt to maintain up with the juggernauts of the east, Stevens appears more than pleased to supply Parker the chance to assist this group.
“He’ll enhance our protection over time and we have to determine how finest to play with him on each ends,” mentioned Stevens. “However fairly good for his first night time.”