Celtics Summer League recap: Looking at the good and questionable after Boston’s Las Vegas run


MassLive.com 18 August, 2021 - 12:21pm 10 views

Who won the NBA summer league?

2021 NBA Summer League: Sacramento Kings crowned Summer League champions after defeating Boston Celtics. The Sacramento Kings become the first team in NBA history to win multiple Summer League championships after a comfortable 100-67 win over the Boston Celtics in the championship game. NBA CA2021 NBA Summer League: Sacramento Kings crowned Summer League champions after defeating Boston Celtics

Who won the Summer League 2021?

The Sacramento Kings have won the 2021 Summer League championship by defeating the Boston Celtics, 100-67, on Tuesday. The win marks the second time the Kings have won Summer League, as they did so in 2014 as well. CBSSports.comKings win Las Vegas Summer League with rout of Celtics; Louis King named championship game MVP

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Celtics' Summer League recap: Looking at the good and questionable

The Sportsrush 18 August, 2021 - 12:19pm

Sacramento Kings' Davion Mitchell, right, scrambles for the ball with Boston Celtics' Carsen Edwards during the second half of the NBA summer league championship basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)AP

The Celtics’ title run ended on a dud, but luckily, that’s not the main takeaway from Summer League. It’s a time of development and practices in the heat of Las Vegas; the opportunity to see what a team’s youngsters feature in new environments.

Boston ends the midsummer exhibition games with a 4-1 record, including three blowout victories. It started great, but a humbling loss to Sacramento put the C’s just a step away from the title.

But there were clear positive takeaways from the five-game slate. Some returners clearly looked improved, though the lower level of competition certainly helped. But for the most part, it was a chance for Celtics fans to walk away confident about the young players.

Here’s a look at the good and questionable from Summer League as the NBA heads into a quiet period ahead of the season.

Positive developments: Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith, Juhann Begarin, Sam Hauser.

It still felt like — even with the final game — the 2020 first-round picks stole the show in Summer League. Nesmith and Pritchard led the team in scoring and looked like they made strides in the meantime. They were playing different roles than they will with the main club, but they played well within their roles. Pritchard dipped midway through Summer League for a Portland Pro-Am, but he still made first-team All-Summer League.

Langford only played three games in Las Vegas, but it was still a solid showing from the third-year pro. He didn’t take an overwhelming amount of shots compared to some of his teammates, but there were clear strides to his game. The fact he was even playing and not out injured was perhaps the biggest positive development for him.

The Celtics newcomers who stepped up all more or less showed what was expected from them.

Hauser made his 3-pointers, shooting 46.2% from behind the line. That’s a great sign even in a small sample size once factoring in the longer 3-point line in the pros. He admitted the speed of the game was an adjustment to make — and that’ll be the case once he makes the leap to the NBA. Hauser will be with the team next season regardless after he signed a two-way contract; it’s just a mystery on how his career shakes out.

Begarin looked the part of an NBA body, but he was still plenty raw in his minutes with the team. He finished third on the team in assists per game, which is perhaps a solid development on the playmaking front, but his shot needs work. Overall, he’s only 19 and Celtics fans at least got a glimpse of him before he returns overseas.

Question marks: Yam Madar, Bruno Fernando, Carsen Edwards.

This section doesn’t necessarily reflect level of play (though it can), but perhaps whether someone will be on the roster this fall. The C’s are over the 15-player limit based on their contracts and a trade is likely in the works to sift through it all. So while a player could be a welcome end-of-the-bench guy, that might not be feasible because of Boston’s roster construction.

Madar was the major question mark going into Summer League on whether his game would translate to a higher level of play in Las Vegas, much less the NBA. He had a strong start in the first half of Game 1, but faded down the stretch. It didn’t help that his groin injury kept him out of the final two contests of Summer League.

But Madar’s roster chances took a blow midway through Summer League when the C’s signed Dennis Schroder to a one-year deal. That meant another body at point guard and another roster spot. Madar signed a deal with Partizan Belgrade in Serbia, so he won’t be stateside for at least this season. That eliminates some of the question marks around Madar, but his long-term fit in the league is still uncertain.

There’s little doubting Fernando’s game as a high-energy guy, and if he ever sees consistent minutes for the C’s, he’ll likely become a fan favorite. He also flashed some impressive shot-blocking ability and is relatively young at just 23 years old.

But Fernando is likely the victim of circumstance. He’s the fourth center on the roster, and while he’s cheap, the C’s likely unload his contract to make space. Boston signing Enes Kanter as the third big likely squared away Fernando’s fate on the team. Barring changes, it’s unlikely the Celtics carry four centers on their roster.

The final question mark is Edwards, who didn’t have a strong Summer League showing. He was third on the team in scoring with 13.8 points per game, but he shot just 34.7% from the field and 28.6% on 3-pointers. He’s a scorer who needs the ball in his hands, but that’s not the role the C’s are looking for.

Edwards has a guaranteed contract for next season, but if the roster numbers are a crunch, he could be the odd man left out. He did average 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, but his small stature doesn’t help his case to stay on the court. He still has a long professional career ahead of him at just 23 years old, but his time is seemingly running out with the Celtics.

Next up is the start of training camp Sept. 28. The season is just a little over two months away as the Celtics open on the road against the Knicks on Oct. 20. Then it’ll be the grind of a normal 82-game slate as Boston looks to improve upon its .500 record from last season.

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