Celtics Notes: Porzingis, Tournament, TPE, Queta

The Celtics are the NBA’s only unbeaten team and Kristaps Porzingis believes they’re just scratching the surface of how good they can become, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Boston underwent major roster changes during the offseason, but the adjustment has gone smoothly with several dominant performances on the way to a 4-0 start.

Himmelsbach notes that the new Big Three of Porzingis, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have outscored opponents by 33.2 points per 100 possessions in the 86 minutes they’ve been on the court together. They’ve also shown a willingness to be unselfish and let whoever has the hot hand on a given night take the most shots.

“We’re still building chemistry,” Porzingis said. “Even though we have some glimpses of really good plays and passes, we’re still building chemistry. I’m still catching up on the little nuances and little things that JT likes to do, that JB likes to do, and just still, like, figuring each other out, you know? It might look like it’s already really good because we’re just beating these teams easily, but it’s going to get much, much better.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Porzingis had plenty of experience with tournaments while growing up in Europe, and he believes the NBA’s new in-season tourney will eventually catch on with fans and players, Himmelsbach adds. “Although I know a lot of people are a little bit skeptical, I think it’s going to be a huge success and I look forward to hopefully winning it,” Porzingis said. Tournament play began throughout the league last night, but the Celtics won’t play their first round robin game until Friday at Brooklyn.
  • Grizzlies center Xavier Tillman could be a name to watch if the Celtics decide to use the $6.2MM traded player exception they generated in the Grant Williams deal, Brian Robb of MassLive suggests in a mailbag column. Tillman has a $1.93MM expiring contract and Memphis may decide to move him if the team can’t overcome its 0-6 start. Robb mentions Thunder forward Kenrich Williams, Pacers center Jalen Smith and Raptors center Precious Achiuwa as other possibilities who would fit into that TPE.
  • Neemias Queta will miss his third straight game tonight due to injury management for his right foot, per Souichi Terada of MassLive, but coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters it’s mostly a precautionary measure. Terada points out that Boston’s schedule has been light so far, and there will be a greater need for the two-way center once games start to stack up.
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