Celts land in Manchester on Saturday
The Red Sox, who open their best-of-seven American League Championship Series at Fenway Park Saturday night, are the hottest ticket in the region.
But the Red Sox game isn’t stopping Granite State fans from flocking to Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester to watch the rebuilding Boston Celtics play a pre-season game.
Only about 1,000 tickets are left for the Celtics-Knicks tilt, which taps off at 7 p.m., one hour before the first pitch in Boston.
Celtics fans will be watching a team that was dismantled during the off-season in hopes of building a new era.
President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge started the process by shipping veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to New Jersey for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and three future first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Joseph was waived by the Celtics in July.
The Celtics still have All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who is inactive. Rondo is still recovering from knee surgery. Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green are the other veterans back from last year’s team.
A new addition to the team through the draft is seven-foot power forward Kelly Olynyk from Gonzaga.
Coach Doc Rivers departed for the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston was compensated with an unprotected 2015 first-round pick.
Coach Brad Stevens left Butler University and inked a six-year, $22 million deal with the Celtics in July.
The Celtics, who face the Philadelphia 76ers in Delaware tonight, are 0-2 in the pre-season.
On Monday in Boston, the Celtics lost 97-89 to the Toronto Raptors. On Wednesday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., the Celtics erased a 23-point second-half deficit and took a 102-101 lead on a lay-up from undrafted rookie free agent Phil Pressey with 22 seconds left. Pressey led the Celtics with 13 points. The Knicks pulled out the win when Tim Hardaway Jr. sank a jumper with eight seconds left for the 103-102 win.
Training camp invitee Chris Babb, an undrafted rookie free agent from Iowa State, was impressive for Boston.
He and Bradley each scored 12 points and were instrumental during Boston’s 20-2 fourth-period run leading up to Pressey’s lay-up. Center Vitor Faverani also contributed 11 points. Faverani, from Brazil, who signed with Boston in July, hit a three-point shot and dunked twice, including a one-hander over Josh Powell of New York in the first half.