Day 1 Takeaways from Vegas After Win over 76ers
LAS VEGAS – The Summer Celtics are off and running after their 96-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in their Summer League debut.
Boston dominated the contest after stumbling out of the gates during the opening minutes. After falling behind 12-4 in the early goings, the C’s outscored Philly 92-70 the rest of the way.
There were many positives to take away from the team’s first performance in Las Vegas, particularly after downing a team in the Sixers that had already taken the court together for a game Friday night. Below are some of the top takeaways and observations from the victory.
Carsen Edwards’ Range is Legit
Carsen Edwards waited all of two minutes and 48 seconds to prove that his range travels to the NBA level. He looked exactly like the guy everyone saw dominate the NCAA tournament, except this time, he was firing from even farther from the basket.
Edwards started in Boston’s backcourt and scored a game-high 20 points on 7-for-17 shooting. He accounted for five of Boston’s nine 3-pointers made in the game, and two of those 3-pointers were at least a few feet beyond the 3-point line.
The keys to Edwards opening himself up for 3-pointers at this level will be his off-ball movement and the effort with which he makes cuts. He showcased a great understanding of those areas Saturday afternoon, which freed him up for many of his looks.
Tacko is a Fan Favorite
One would have thought that Kemba Walker entered the building just a few minutes into Boston’s opener against the 76ers, as the crowd broke into sudden and loud cheers.
The cheers were not for Walker, the team’s star free-agent signing, however. They were for Tacko Fall. And they didn’t stop – literally the rest of the day.
Every time Fall stood up from the bench to check in, or made a play while on the court, the crowd released its loudest cheers of the afternoon. Without exaggeration, Fall undoubtedly elicited at least 90 percent of the game’s loudest cheers for either team.
The 7-foot-6 center finished the afternoon with six points, four rebounds and a blocked shot in 10 minutes of action. It was abundantly clear that the fans wanted him on the court for far longer than that.
Javonte Green Has Hops
I walked down to the court to watch the Celtics warm up before tip-off. One thing that immediately became very clear is that Javonte Green can JUMP!
Green, who is listed at 6-foot-4, was throwing himself alley-oops off the backboard for monster dunks during warm-ups. The dunk show continued after tip-off, as he threw down two loud slams during game action as well.
You may be watching these games to see Edwards, Grant Williams, Robert Williams and Tacko Fall, but don’t be surprised if this is the guy who makes your eyes pop.
This Team Plays with Maximum Effort
Edwards and Grant Williams both said Friday that the best way to overcome not knowing their teammates’ tendencies is to play hard. The Celtics did plenty of that Saturday afternoon.
Boston’s players were flying all over the place, including onto the floor. Multiple players dove to the floor to recover balls, or dove out of bounds to save balls. It was everything the coaching staff wanted to see.
“It’s something we’ve talked about since the first meeting,” said Summer Celtics head coach Scott Morrison. “Coach Stevens came in and talked about how we want Celtics basketball to look, and that starts with out-working the opponent, taking charges, diving on the floor for loose balls.
“I was really happy with the guys, their hard work, their effort, their multiple efforts, and their sharing the ball offensively I thought was really good.”
Maintaining those effort levels will be a key to the team’s continued success in the tournament.