More important than the win, Celtics fans got their first look at the C’s three 2012 NBA Draft picks Fab Melo, Jared Sullinger, and Kris Joseph. Like all summer league games, there was some high points, some low points, and some really ugly moments and we’ll highlight those with some video later on. For now, it’s good to keep in mind that impressions shouldn’t remain to concrete after summer league games; especially after just one summer league game.
For now, we’ll recap today’s contest with some interesting/unconventional categories:
PLAYERS I WANT TO SEE MORE OF:
Jared Sullinger. Sullinger’s professional career began admirably as the rookie power forward finished 20 points and 6 rebounds. Sully showed polish around the basket and a smooth shooting stroke from the midrange en route to those 20 points. Unfortunately, he also seems ready to prove to people that his range extends well out past the three point line. He didn’t do himself any favors by air-balling two attempts and rattling in a wide open one. We’ll see how that aspect of his game goes as these next two weeks continue.
I would have liked to see Sullinger impose his will on the glass but he appears poised and I was hoping to see more lateral quickness on defending the pick and roll. He looks a bit overweight and his help defense leaves much to be desired. Here’s hoping these issues can be corrected/improved by mid season.
Kris Joseph. Joseph could have been the most complete player on the floor for the C’s. He shot the ball well. He drove hard and finished well. He even showed some aggression, crashing the glass from the wing. He had some turnovers (3) and didn’t show he can pass the ball but he looks the part of a solid role player off the bench. Keep in mind that Joseph won’t be asked to create offense for others if he makes this Celtics team.
Dionte Christmas. Christmas quietly had a really good game. It looks like he’s really bulked up since his playing days at Temple. So much so, I was afraid he was actually a little fat but his play today didn’t seem to support that at all. I knew he could stroke it from three, but he also quietly pulled down 10 boards. I want to see if his attention to the glass continues this week.
E’Twaun Moore. I was really hoping the Moore would be the first of second best player on the court. He played some meaningful minutes early on last season and I thought maybe that NBA experience would have translated into some Summer League dominance. Alas, Moore failed to really assert himself until the final minute when he started to score in the course of running out the clock. I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t able to create like a true point guard and am anxious to see if that improves at all as the week continues.
JaJuan Johnson. He rebounded and defended okay and showed that he’s able to make a jumper but three points for last year’s first rounder isn’t enough.
Craig Brackins. Brackins fascinates me as a former first round pick that was supposed to be long, athletic, polished, and productive but has proven to be the opposite in the pros. I’m dying to see him do something that made him a first round pick a few years ago.
PLAYERS I WANT TO SEE LESS OF:
Sean Williams. When Williams joined the Celtics late last season, he was touted has having a high basketball IQ. I was shocked when I heard this because after watching him at Boston College and then the pros, I’ve only seen him do stupid things on and off the court. His energy and athleticism have never been in question but today he shot a three and missed terribly. I’ll always have a soft spot for Big Time, but it’s time I’d rather see what Brackins has to offer.
Jamar Smith. As expected, Smith has a nice outside shot but offers little else to the Celtics.
Larry Owens. I expected more from a guy who’s spent some time in the league.
Jonathan Gibson. Who?
PLAYERS I WISH THE CELTICS DIDN’T DRAFT, BUT INSTEAD DRAFTED PERRY JONES III:
Fab Melo. Outside of a pretty impressive weakside recovery block, Melo showed little to nothing today. In fact, I have serious doubts about his man defense. Early on in the first half, Perry Jones III went right into Melo’s chest and finished through contact. I wanted to see a little more from a guy touted for his defense and shot-blocking ability.