Preview: Denver Nuggets look to bounce back vs. Celtics

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@EricSpyroNBA

Sunday’s 97-77 loss to the Miami Heat wasn’t exactly how the Denver Nuggets were hoping to kick off the 2021 NBA Summer League.

With several players unavailable to play, Denver had to adjust on the fly with a roster that didn’t have much practice time in preparation for the nine-day tournament in Las Vegas.

MORE: Three takeaways from loss to Miami

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom Sunday night in Cox Pavilion, as Bol Bol used a strong half to finish with 21 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Meanwhile, Caleb Agada had an impressive NBA Summer League debut, racking up 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.

Denver now shifts its focus to the Boston Celtics, as the two teams will face off in the Thomas & Mack Center Tuesday night (5 pm MT, ESPNU).

Can Bol build on Sunday’s second half?

Throughout the first half of Sunday’s loss to Miami, Bol struggled to find a rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. While he was able to make an impact on the defensive end of the floor with his shot-blocking abilities, it took until the second half for Bol to get into a comfort zone.

What followed was a display of tough shot-making and numerous trips to the free-throw line. Given Denver’s shorthanded roster at the moment, Bol will be a focus for the team on the offensive end of the floor, presenting the 21-year-old with a prime opportunity to showcase his versatile game.

Davon Reed impresses in first game

A late addition to Denver’s Summer League roster, Davon Reed stood out Sunday night, scoring 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, which included 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Reed previously appeared in 31 NBA games across two seasons with the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers after being selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 Draft.

Reed is a capable defender and injects Denver’s squad with hustle on both ends of the floor. If the 26-year-old can continue to hit shots from downtown, he’ll make a strong case for earning an NBA contract following Summer League.

Celtics led by dynamic guards

The Celtics won a close 85-83 game against the Atlanta Hawks to open their Summer League schedule.

Boston is led by several guards with NBA experience, most notably Payton Prichard, Aaron Nesmith, Carson Edwards, and Romeo Langford. Prichard (23) and Edwards (17) combined for 40 points, while Langford and Nesmith added a combined 23 points as the guards fueled the majority of Boston’s offense.

Prichard attempted a remarkable 15 3-pointers in his 30 minutes of action, as the Celtics shot 16-of-51 from beyond the arc as a team, making 3-point defense a priority for Denver Tuesday night.

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