5 things we learned during the Celtics preseason

Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics tied a bow on a perfect preseason on Wednesday night, putting together an undefeated preseason for the first time under Brad Stevens (playing only four games helps in that department). Before we turn the page and look ahead to the regular season opener on Tuesday night, let’s dissect some of the numbers and takeaways after watching four games of the new-look C’s.

1. Kyrie Irving is buying in with his passing: The one knock on the 25-year-old point guard in Cleveland (at least on the offensive end) was Irving’s tendency to isolate and be a bit of a ball hog in stretches. He was always more of a scorer than a passer with the Cavs (career average 5.5 assists per game), but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the unselfishness he showed during his first three contests as a Celtic.

Not only did Irving lead the Celtics in scoring during the exhibition season (15.3 ppg), but he also posted a team-best 5.3 apg average in just 23 minutes per contest. That assist rate is well beyond his career-high in assists/36 min. (6.1) and is reflective of a guy who is actively seeking out teammates in transition and on half court sets. In fact, the assortment of passes we’ve seen throughout the past few weeks make Irving’s passing look like a skillset that was underutilized in Cleveland.

If the Celtics can untap this version of the All-Star guard all season, it’s going to make Boston a nightmare to defend.