The remade Celtics, with their collection of A-minus/B-plus max players, have a lot to prove before we bump them into the hallowed tier above. They were only a hair better than league average on defense last season, and they tossed away two ballhawks — Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder — in turning over 75 percent of their roster.
Rebounding will be an issue again, though Brad Stevens may deploy Aron Baynes as something of a utility glass-eating starter. Opponents shot just 33 percent from deep and 34 percent on corner 3s — the second-lowest marks in the league. How much of that was luck? We’ll see. Boston is stocked with huge wings; Gordon Hayward starts as the nominal shooting guard. If the team switches a ton, dial in on closeouts, and gang rebound, Boston will retain some of last season’s peskiness.
Touchdown, Panthers. After a 25-yard return from McCaffrey, a season-best, the Panthers need just four plays and less than two minutes to get into the end zone. Newton scores on a 16-yard touchdown run and Gano’s extra point is good. The Panthers lead 10-3 with 10:34 remaining in the half.
Panthers running backs have four carries for minus-8 yards after one quarter.
Eagles defense showing up once again today. Have given up just one touchdown on last 14 possessions going back to last week.
Tilman Fertitta called off shooting for his reality show, “Billion Dollar Buyer,” one day this summer because he felt sick. His attempt to buy the Houston Rockets — 24 years after he finished second in the bidding for the franchise — had taken a toll on him.