The “Celtics” took to the floor in Orlando today, and the one thing most people were watching for was Marcus Smart’s first taste of pseudo-NBA action. And what he delivered was pretty much what we’ve seen and heard about him all along: he defended well, struggled a bit with his jumper, but his aggressiveness paid off.
Smart finished the game with 5 steals and a blocked shot, but beyond that he overpowered the smaller Shabazz Napier and played passing lanes very well. Offensively, he used his size to get into the lane and to the line (6-8 ft). His jumper was off (2-8, 0-5 3pt, 1o pts overall), but he hit a clutch shot late in the game off a nice dribble move to help seal a Celtics win. He also had a few assists, but he looked better off the ball than he did as a playmaker. His second half was definitely better than his first as he settled into a little bit of a groove.
It’s notable that he started at the 2 with Pressey at the point. Of course, this is summer league, so teams are obviously looking to experiment with a few things. He could start at the point for all we know on Monday. Overall though, it was a solid debut for Smart, with some good things and some obvious things he needs to work on. This was a nice dish though:
Not surprisingly, Kelly Olynyk was the actual star of the game. He had 20 points, 8 rebounds, and this dunk, continuing his mastery of summer league opponents. It looked like he added some muscle, which is a great sign. He had 6 turnovers, but a lot of those weren’t terribly sloppy. They were more him trying to make plays for his teammates and just not connecting. I feel like Jared Sullinger would have caught some of those passes.
Mike Moser wins the “guy who most people haven’t heard of but will fall in love with” award with 17 points off the bench. He went un-drafted out of Oregon a couple of weeks ago, and definitely has talent. But a lot of talented guys have had big summer league games, only to disappear after a few weeks. But keep and eye on him.
Colton Iverson is still a brick wall with legs. He managed 10 points almost completely on cleanup duty.
Phil Pressey had a team-high 7 assists. He played hard… almost too hard, actually. He got himself into trouble a few times by playing too fast. He did, however, have a great highlight by winning a jump ball over a guy a foot taller than him… getting the ball back… and then firing a 3/4 court pass for a layup.
Oh… and Kelly Olynyk debuted a new ponytail look… which was met with…
Wait wait wait @KellyOlynyk has a ponytail lol.
— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) July 5, 2014
If you’re in Boston and you missed it, CSNNE will re-air the game at 8. NBA TV will certainly be re-running the games later tonight too… so check those listings.