Goofballs and Good Guys: Summer Celtics are Riding Strong Chemistry
LAS VEGAS – The camaraderie of an NBA Summer League team may be even more important to its success than its talent.
The good news for the Summer Celtics is that they have both.
The presence of such chemistry and talent has made the development process for this summer’s team far simpler than it typically is for Summer League squads. This process is known to be a significant challenge, to say the least.
Teams usually have only one week to practice with one another before they tip off their first games. That’s one week to learn each others’ tendencies, one week to learn each others’ preferences, one week to learn the system, and one week to learn who plays well with who.
Although the Celtics have yet to face another team, they appear to be confident with where they stand in those regards.
“It’s been a very unselfish, hard-working, playing-together group,” Summer Celtics head coach Scott Morrison said Friday afternoon in Las Vegas.
Carrying on from Morrison’s comment, there do not appear to be any egos on this roster. Nearly every player who has spoken to the media has stated team goals first, and personal goals second. These guys just want to win.
They also want to have fun, which has not been much of a challenge for them during their first week together. Many of their laughs and humorous moments have been chronicled on social media, and today, another occurred.
Following practice and at the conclusion of media availability, Grant Williams snagged the Celtics.com microphone and went on to interview fellow draft picks Romeo Langford and Carsen Edwards. All three of them were cracking up throughout the sequence.
That was the latest example of just how well these guys are getting along after one week together as teammates. As Williams stated about the team’s camaraderie, “I think we just have a bunch of goofballs and a bunch of good guys on the team.”
Even Robert Williams, who is playing for his second Summer Celtics team, said that he has noticed a difference between how well this team is getting along compared to last year’s team.
“We’re cool with each other,” he said. “We look at each other as brothers. We want to win this thing.”
In order to do so, talent is an obvious necessity, and the Celtics have plenty of it. Six of their own draft picks, and one player previously drafted by another franchise, are members of this 13-man roster. Additionally, the Celtics have multiple undrafted players on their roster who were highly sought after on the free-agent market.
Carsen Edwards, this year’s No. 33 overall pick, described the team’s talent by saying, “We have guys that can really play the game, guys that have good feel.” Those characteristics transfer over well to Summer League play. And while there is no guarantee as to how many wins this team will log once it opens up play Saturday afternoon, it has to feel great about where it stands heading into game action.
This team is constructed of a bunch of win-first players who want each other to succeed. It is also littered with versatile talent that could very well make a splash in Vegas. It certainly feels as if this group is headed straight toward success, in one fashion or another.
“At the end of the day,” said Morrison, “if the guys work hard, play together and try to play the right way, and get a little bit better at the end, then that will be a successful segment of the summer.”
Winning would be a cherry on top of that sundae.