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Trying not to overreact to Kris Joseph’s summer league performance

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) July 12, 2012 Summer League 11 Comments

This is only summer league

This is only summer league

This is only summer league

I’m trying to remind myself of something that I know all too well.  This is only summer league, and every summer league has a “breakout” player that never makes it in the league.  But I can’t help but enjoy what I’m seeing out of Kris Joseph.

Joseph stood out again today.  Despite early struggles in the Celtics’ first loss of the summer league season, Joseph finished strong in the second half, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds.  He continues to shoot confidently, beat guys off the dribble and display flashes of defense that lead to easy opportunities.   He is tenacious on the boards, grabbing four offensive rebounds today, many of them tipping his own missed shot back in.

It’s an impressive debut for Joseph, who has shown he’s at least on a par with all the other guys who have a chance to contribute to this team.  And considering the Celtics lack depth at the wing, Joseph might have a chance, depending on who else might get signed, to crack the rotation.

Still, it’s only summer league, but he’s opened a lot of eyes in four games so far.  I’m not writing my “Danny got a second round steal” piece yet… but I’m starting to think about it.

As for the other guys:

JaJuan Johnson played pretty well, especially in the first half.  At this point, I think the book on Johnson is clear:  He can shoot the mid-range jumper very well, but he needs to improve his agility and strength.  He can get pushed around too easily and he’s not quick enough on some of his moves.

Jared Sullinger didn’t shoot particularly well today, but he made an impact in the second half by aggressively hitting the boards and getting to the free throw line.  Sullinger has a nice mid-range touch as well, but right now I think he’s getting a little tired out there from playing these games every day.  He also seems to think he’s a three point shooter, which he’s not.  At least, he isn’t right now.  If Sullinger tries to take a 3 during a  C’s game, he might have some time on the bench to reflect on the quality of that shot.

E’Twaun Moore struggled.  This was easily his worst performance of the summer.  He only played 16:40, so the lack of time might have been an issue.

Fab Melo blocked a few shots, and seemed pretty comfortable when the Celtics switched to a zone for a little while.  But man did he get torched on pick-and-rolls in the man-to-man.  He’s got a lot of work to do.

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  • Romeo

    I still thing sullinger can lose a few more pounds, more I look at him he reminds me of a upgrade Big Baby

  • Brian

    That’s how I saw it today. No crazy Gibson explosions to get them back in the game. Fab got burned early but it wasn’t because of lack of effort.

    I’m already on the Joseph bandwagon. 4 years of fundementals put this guy in the right place at the right time. He will be our version of dany green on The spurs for 1/3 the price. Works for me.

  • colaroaster

    @john on the radio interview were you drunk, coughing-up mothballs, and attempting to call play-by-play? solid 30 min’s of airtime

    • http://redsarmy.com John

      I was sober, but I couldn’t clear my throat at all. But yeah, I was also a little distracted by the game. Thanks for listening!

  • ridar

    I dont know what to think about his +/- of -17 :S

  • Shane

    The real question is whether or not Joseph can play the 2, because he won’t be getting many minutes behind Pierce and Green. If he can do that, I’d love to see how he can contribute. My expectations are tempered, of course, but watching him bust his ass during the summer league makes me like him a lot. Effort goes a long way in the eyes of the C’s management…

    • Uh huh

      I disagree. If we can get a real 3 he should play the 4 behind Bass (Jeff showed last year he doesn’t have the skills to be a small forward, ideally he’s a stretch 4 – his role in OKC when he was the most laughable part of a big 3 ever) His handle is average, I don’t see all this athleticism people keep talking about, and he’s not a great shooter. Am I missing something here?

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  • Jose

    I watched Joseph a lot when he played for Syracuse. He had a tendency to disappear in big situations and was a passive rebounder.

    With that said, I am pumped up with how aggressive and confident he has played so far this summer.

    Many people who’s opinions I respect are impressed with him. The future is looking bright C’s fans! Go Celtics!!!

  • Mark M

    Fab can’t play at the NBA level this year. he needs to play in the D League and get some experience. I am pleasantly surprised by Joseph and I concur with Shane, I think he can play he 2. Sullinger was gassed by the end of the game playing a lot of minutes and 4th day in a row. He reminds me of Leon Powe. He needs to ge in NBA shape, but you can see he is a player. Noticed he didn’t play in todays game.

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