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First Impressions: Baby C’s 82, Passing Showers 87

The Celtics kick off their 2010 Summer League campaign with a loss.  Hurray!  Many times, players auditioning for ball clubs will try to emulate NBA players to show the front office all of their capabilities.  Unfortunately, this Celtics Summer League did their best regular-season Celtics team impression- and it was damn good.  Spot on really.  After garnering a huge lead in the early going (21 points at one time), the Celtics ultimately gave it up in the waning minutes and lost a close one to an Oklahoma City Thunder team sporting three rotation players for the big ball club (James Harden, Eric Maynor, and Serge Ibaka).

Like all Summer League games, there was some good and some bad.  First the good:

Luke Harangody:

I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time and haven’t gotten a chance to until now: for all of those people saying Harangody is a replacement for Brian Scalabrine, please, just stop it.  The similarities these two players possess  end at syllables and skin-tone.  Harangody showed today that he is a pick-and-pop guy while Scal is a spot up shooter.  Harangody has a post game and uses his bulk judiciously on the block.  Scalabrine has no post game of which to speak.  Scalabrine makes up for his lack of quickness and athleticism with his high basketball IQ and his ability to stay in front of quicker and longer players.  The jury is still out on Harangody’s ability to defend on the next level.

Despite not showing much on the defensive end, Harangody showed off his ability to put the ball in the bucket.  Luke scored 23 points and was especially impressive from deep.  I can’t remember Harangody shooting an NCAA three in any of his College games I was fortunate to catch, let alone stepping a few feet back and knocking one down from real deep.  When it was all said and done, Harangody was 9-of-13 from the field and 4-of-6 from three.  The best part of Harangody’s stat-line isn’t immediately evident.  Luke exuded confidence today by stepping into and taking big shots without hesitation and had the ability to get off his unorthodox delivery very quickly and with little adjustment.

The Locals:

And no, I’m not talking about the Restaurant in West Newton.  I’m talking about Tony Gaffney (UMass) and Matt Janning (Northeastern).  Being a BC guy, I’m supposed to have a visceral reaction when I see guys from other Hockey East schools play well, regardless of the sport.  That said, I have definitely made an exception when it comes to local products vying for NBA roster spots.

Janning can really stroke it but unfortunately played a lot off the ball today when he got in and didn’t really get to showcase his ability.  Look for the players on the floor to adapt when they see him light it up in practice.  Gaffney, on the other hand, really didn’t show a lot on the offensive end but may become the next Scalabrine- an abridged role, of course.  Gaffney started off the game guarding James Harden and guarded him really well.  If Gaffney can use his 6’8″ wiry frame to guard two’s and three’s in the NBA, he’ll find his way onto a roster.

The Mountain from Minsk:

For those of you not in “the know” Minsk is the capital of Belarus, which is a country the lies between Russia and Poland, which is also where the Celtics’ Summer League team’s back-up center was born.  His name is Artsiom Parakhouski and he played his collegiate ball at Radford where is he displayed his knack for rebounding the ball.  He displayed that very same ability today, pulling down 10 boards in 18 minutes.


It was nice to see that the Celtics defensive mentality was not wasted on its youth.  The Celtics brought it today on the defensive end which made the game infinitely more fun to watch.  While the Bigs are still slow on their interior rotations, point guard Oliver Lafayette pressured Eric Maynor the entire game.


Orlando Summer League is now being broadcast on NBATV which means two very good things: no small ever-buffering Quicktime viewers and no Dante and Galante.  A lot of people like the off-beat Summer League announcers, I am just not one of them.  I don’t know, something about wanting to watch basketball and having to listen to two guys misquoting five-year-old Family Guy and Will Farrell lines doesn’t sit well with me.

* * *

Now, the bad.  For those of you hoping Semih Erden was the answer to the Celtics’ lack of length in the middle, don’t get too excited.  In his first professional game, Erden looked very stiff out there and fell over on his only two moves to the basket.  He also only grabbed 4 rebounds in 22 minutes and was not on the same page with Lafayette on pick-and-rolls.  It’s early in the process but as of right now, give me some Parakhouski over Erden.

Box Score Courtesy of NBA.com:

  • I love Green

    God every Celtics team sucks at holding leads.

    I like Harangody, and I’m hoping Erden plays well the rest of the games, or the dude from Ukraine.

  • Strike

    Jesus, Harden sure knows how to draw those fouls in the Summer League.

  • Shooter

    Again MEH….it’s Summer League for crying out loud.Harangody was good offensively,defensively however, he needs to turn it up a notch and get nasty on them boards.
    Get out Erden, come on in Parakhouski.

  • Paul Bowdring

    I liked the way Lafyette handled the ball. Found open players for shots, nice passes, and created his own offense. Harangody seems to have extended his game making 4-6 from three, he can be a help for the C’s if he dedicates himself to improving defensively and crashing the boards. Overall good start for these players fighting for a spot on the big club

  • Sophomore

    I’ve got to say, I had a different impression of Erden and Parakhoutski – I was pretty disappointed. They were very slow, didn’t show good footwork, and were stuck to the ground on D. If they have a low-post game they didn’t show it. I suppose their height was useful, but if I remember correctly, a lot of their rebounds were collected during the first half, when the Thunder were bricking a lot of jumpshots and not crashing the boards. They made the most of their bulk, but based on the ridiculously short trial of one summer-league game, I’ll say they didn’t show anything to make me think they’ll compete with a vet min player we could get off the scrap heap.

    Harangody got his shot to fall, which was nice, and I’m assuming it wasn’t a fluke because he scored so often in the Big East. But that dude has one ugly stroke. More importantly, he was helpless on D.

    I thought Lafayette and Green showed flashes of good play. Green has better physical tools, Lafayette showed more basketball craft. Shame he’s so slight. I could see one of these guys catching on as an end-of-the-bench player somewhere.

    All in all – no great surprise – none of these guys looks like they’ll be in the rotation any time soon. Shame we don’t get to see Avery Bradley this summer.

  • Pure

    Want to see what happens if Parakhouski starts because semih looked horrible!

    Does anyone know why Wittman didnt play?

  • Cptn Bubbles

    For some reason the thundees brought many of their regulars, who will obviously be on next year’s team, to the party including chewbaca, I mean ibaca–who subsequently got hurt. It seemed extremely stupid for the thundees to put their best shot blocker out there risking injury when they’ve had such trouble defending the paint in the regular season. They also had Moses, I mean James Harden out there who got to the free throw line whenever a Celtic got within a 6′ radius of his personage.

    Late in the game, the Cs defensive energy took a death spiral while the thundees defensive intensity skyrocketed. It seems that the Cs “system” for the 4th quarter needs an overhaul. I don’t know if they are slowing the ball down & trying to milk the clock or if they just need a new & improved conditioning coach…. whether it’s philosophy or conditioning or shampoo something HAS to change!

    Harangody has a weird looking shot, but it does go in so keep shooting. He also seems to have good instincts & a definite hustle to his game. He looked pretty good against the ringers. His vertical is not that great, but he does have some meat on his bones which he’ll have to use to “MOVE” people away from the basket when rebounding. He also seems to be pretty smart except when he gave the intentional foul (a layup would have only cost 2 points) & when he did not take the 3 ball late. He seems to be a hard worker so it’s hard not to like him.

    Lafayette, that brilliant French strategist, was superb in the 1st half. It looked like he either got tired in the 2nd half or lost focus. He could be special, but does he have the energy & focus to play hard the whole game???? You would think experienced players would know better, but Gaffney & Lafayette led the team in silly turnovers.

    Looks like if you want to get some rebounds you’d better keep the Minskian out there. Maybe the Turk will get more up to speed, but he just watched Mullens way too many times instead of getting physical. Didn’t get to see the Ukrainian –which doesn’t give you lots of hope.

    OKC’s point guard, Maynor, got into the lane with ease in the 2nd half & was getting them point blank shots way too many times. You almost thought it was an instant replay looping over & over again….wow, there goes that Maynor into the lane again, didn’t he just do this 100 times previously????? Looks like the Cs would do something different or at the very least get the ball out of Maynor’s hands.

    The C’s were basically the flip of Maynor…..there goes another C taking an outside jump shot again. Is there no post game???? You can look at the shooting %s & see that the Cs lived well off the jump shot early, but then died by the jump shot late (tired legs???). The thundees basic late strategy was superior… let Maynor waltz into the lane again & again & again & then get a 2′ or a 1′ shot & crash the boards while the Cs continued to live & mostly die by the ONE shot & done outside jump shot as if getting closer to the basket was just way too scary.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Shaq is considering taking the mid level exception & going with the Hawks. The Hawks have several nice bigs, more bigs than us, & they are STILL being AGGRESSIVE & working to get even bigger. I sure hope we are not pinning our hopes to the Turk. I’d much rather have Shaq & have AN ACTUAL POST GAME & some PHYSICAL post play. This is the nba with Dwight, not Europe. Come on Danny, there are not that many productive bigs out there…..

  • Shooter

    No,i think Danny is smart to pass on Shaq if the Hawks offer him the full MLE.

  • steve

    Thought the team looked pretty good going against basically a second unit for an NBA playoff team. It’s not about wins or losses even though they seemed to channel the regular season C’s.

  • Jamie

    Why is Bradley not playing in the summer?

  • Bradley just had ankle surgery. Will be out six weeks.

  • BenJones

    I’m just waiting for Wittman to get some PT. If we don’t re-sign Ray (crosses fingers that we do) it might be good to get a knockdown who can come in off the bench a couple minutes a game. Wittman is one of the best shooters to ever come out of the ncaa, but is probably not athletic enough to defend anyone in the NBA. He’s got that super quick release though and is ridiculously accurate from range.

    With Donahue taking the Boston College coaching job and Mitch Belisle playing for the Boston Cannons (yes I just brought the MLL into this), it’d be cool to see Cornell have some more sports presence in the Boston area.

    Also if you want to learn more about the legend that is Ryan Wittman visit http://ryanwittmanfacts.com/