Neemias Queta estreou-se esta segunda-feira pelos Boston Celtics, na derrota dos “verdes” diante dos New York Knicks por 114-107, no Madison Square Garden. O português somou 7 pontos (3/5 FG, 1/3 FT), 4 ressaltos (todos ofensivos) e um desarme de lançamento em 13’34” minutos, numa partida em que o treinador dos Celtics fez descansar seis atletas, incluindo os bigs Al Horford e Kristaps Porziņģis.
Joe Mazzulla apostou em Luke Kornet de início, mas, tal como na véspera frente aos Philadelphia 76ers, o #40 de Boston não esteve feliz e Neemias foi chamado à acção logo no 1.º quarto. Apesar de duas faltas rápidas, o gigante do Vale da Amoreira correspondeu ao que lhe era pedido e teve impacto no jogo, terminando o encontro com o melhor box plus/minus da equipa: +9.
Na reacção à estreia pelos Celtics, o internacional português falou do contributo que deu à equipa no Madison Square Garden, da dispensa pelos Sacramento Kings e de como se sente desejado em Boston, da possível multa que vai pagar por causa da falta técnica que lhe foi injustamente assinalada e da importância de continuar a representar Portugal na NBA.
A opinião dos beat writers que acompanham os Boston Celtics é unânime: Neemias mostrou pormenores muito positivos – energia, intimidação e protecção do cesto, capacidade de ressalto -, mas também revelou algumas dificuldades para manter-se dentro de campo, com cinco faltas e menos de 14 minutos.
On top of his lackluster start, Kornet also has Neemias Queta now breathing down his neck for extra minutes. The Portuguese big man made his preseason debut for the Cs in the absence of both Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis and I’ll tell you what, he caught my eye. In just nine minutes, he piled up seven points, three rebounds (all offensive!!), and a block off of Boston’s bench. On top of that, he helped the Celtics outscore New York by 12 in his short minutes. – Halftime hot takes: the fellas head to the Big Apple
The final takeaway is about Neemias Queta, an athletic seven-footer who’s mobile defensively and runs the floor well. The former Sacramento King registered seven points, four rebounds, and a block in 14 minutes against New York. He also picked up five fouls, reflecting the need for him to play with more discipline, but the tools that made him an appealing option who the Celtics want to work with were on display. – Here’s Who Shined and Who Disappointed in Celtics’ Loss vs. Knicks
With Robert Williams shipped off to Portland, the Celtics could use some frontcourt help behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford. Neemias Queta, a 7-footer signed to a two-way contract last month, showed flashes of promise in his C’s debut. The 2022-23 G-League MVP runner-up quickly provided a spark with a strong putback in the first quarter. He tallied seven points in total with four boards and a block in 14 minutes. There’s potential there, but Queta has to cut down on the fouls. He racked up five during his brief time on the court, continuing a troubling trend that dates back to his college days. Before the Celtics can consider giving him regular minutes, that’s an issue that must be addressed. – Celtics-Knicks takeaways: Pritchard, Banton impress in second preseason game
Queta made his Celtics debut in the preseason loss to the Knicks on Monday, providing some jolts of energy. It’s still early in training camp, but Queta at least made an impact against the Knicks. That’s what he said he wanted to provide as the Celtics unloaded their bench Monday with their top-6 players sitting. The 7-foot Queta is in a prime position to potentially earn a larger role with the Celtics. The C’s were already looking for front court depth when they inked the big man. That was before they traded Robert Williams III to the Blazers as part of the Jrue Holiday deal. Now, Queta can provide some much-needed size and at least another option. While he’ll spend a decent chunk of time with the G-League this season, he could be an insurance option for the Celtics over the course of the 82-game regular season. – Celtics two-way big man felt ‘very wanted’ as big man depth option
Neemias Queta showed his aggressiveness on both ends of the court. No. 88 showed strength down low, with a couple of offensive rebounds and putbacks. With Banton’s missed layup, Queta grabbed yet another rebound for the slam. Queta finished with 7 points, 1 block, and 4 rebounds on 3-of-5 field goal shooting. – Celtics drop second preseason game to Knicks 114-107
Queta committed five fouls, a problem that’s persisted throughout his career. But the seven-footer’s athleticism and ability to run the floor in transition were also on display. The latter is what made the Celtics so excited to work with him this season. Cutting down on fouls will be the key to him staying on the floor when he gets opportunities in Boston. – Neemias Queta Discusses Representing Portugal, Opportunity with Celtics: ‘I Feel Very Wanted’
No podcast Locked On Celtics, o analista John Karalis recusou ficar demasiado entusiasmado com um atleta com contrato two-way, mas afirmou que Neemias representa um arquétipo de jogador que os Celtics precisam de ter na rotação (excerto 27’59”-29’50”).
No Queta Report que se segue (24’39” minutos), respondemos às seguintes questões:
- Que balanço pode ser feito da estreia de Neemias pelos Celtics?
- Em que áreas mostrou que pode contribuir para a equipa principal?
- Os dois maus jogos de Luke Kornet deixam Neemias com mais hipóteses de disputar um lugar na rotação de Joe Mazzulla e um contrato standard?
- Quais os destaques das declarações do português no final do jogo?
Vamos às respostas.