Rookie guard Chris Babb from Iowa State is a long shot to make the Boston Celtics' roster this fall, but he made a heck of a good impression Wednesday night.
Babb, an undrafted free agent, scored 12 points in eight minutes and had two assists and a blocked shot during Boston's 103-102 preseason loss to the New York Knicks. He hit four 3-pointers in five tries as Boston came all the way back from a 23-point fourth-quarter deficit only to lose.
Babb had the ball on the Celtics' last possession. He drove and tried a double-pump leaner that was blocked by fellow rookie C.J. Leslie. It was his only 2-point attempt of the game.
Babb's plus-minus was +20. Meaning, the Celtics scored 20 more points than New York when he was on the court.
“Chris Babb has been one of the best workers, has had one of the best attitudes and been one of the best teammates since day one,” Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said. “[His performance] is not at all a surprise to me.”
Here's an interesting passage from Ben Watanabe's story from the game on nesn.com:
Maybe this is reading too much into it, but from MarShon Brooks‘ body language he did not seem very happy about not getting the ball on the Celtics’ final possession, when they trailed 103-102 and were inbounding with four seconds to go. After Babb’s shot was blocked and he was knocked to the floor, Brooks was standing right near his fallen teammate and in position to help him up. Instead, Brooks pivoted and walked quietly back toward the bench while DeShawn Sims rushed over to give Babb a hand.
It was weird to see a Celtics player do that after six years of seeing every Celtic running over to help a teammate whenever he hit the ground. Kevin Garnett‘s absence is already felt.
Babb averaged 9.1 points for Iowa State last season and shot 38.2 percent from 3-point range. He played for the Phoenix Suns' team in the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League before signing with Boston.
Babb didn't play in the Celtics' first preseason game. Wednesday's was the second one. There are six left.