Summer League Highlights: Celtics fall 85-78 to Rockets
Posted by Tom Westerholm on Jul 11, 2013
We have reached a point in Orlando’s Summer League where most coaches have pretty well figured out which of their players will make the training camp roster and which ones won’t. For the most part, coaches are giving their training camp players (eg. Olynyk, Iverson and Pressey) some time on the court while giving other players (eg. Fells, Granger and Hill) one last extended look and a chance to shine in front of international and D-League scouts.
The Celtics were no exception in an 85-78 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. If you care about such things, the loss put the Celtics in a three-way tie for third place with Miami and Utah. The problem is that Miami and Utah both have games tomorrow while the C’s have a day off, so unless both the Heat and the Jazz manage to lose every quarter of their games on Thursday, the Celtics will end up in fifth place at best with the potential to fall even farther if Indiana, Detroit or Orlando makes a final surge.
Does any of this matter? No, not really, except that the 4/5 game on Friday would be at 8 a.m., which just sounds unpleasant. So I’m all for an early start to the tanking.
Courtney Fells can jump extremely high, and Phil Pressey seems to enjoy doing flashy things. It was only a matter of time before these two connected to create a fun highlight together.
Mitchell had a rough game, and this play was no exception. It’s easy to lose yourself under the basket, but that doesn’t make it look any less ridiculous when you can clearly get high enough to score but you still put it short.
A few bullet points from yesterday’s loss:
- Darius Johnson-Odom was not with the team, opting instead to travel and play with the Nuggets in Vegas. This was probably a good decision for him; with a crowded roster and Pressey hogging the solid point guard minutes, DJO was not likely to get a training camp invite from the Celtics anyway.
- After a nice game on Tuesday, Tony Mitchell couldn’t find his range at all. His jumper was missing badly (including a couple of shots that didn’t reset the shot clock) and he went 0-4 from 3-point range.
- Facing a couple of fairly athletic opponents in Tyler Honeycutt and Terrence Jones, Kelly Olynyk wasn’t as dominant as he has been in other games, in part due to his 3-point shooting. For whatever reason, several of Olynyk’s 3-point attempts (he was 0-5 for the game) were from the top of the key, which is one of the least efficient 3-pointers a player can take. Fortunately, this will be a pretty easy fix as Stevens is drawing up offensive gameplans.
- I suspect that Jayson Granger is actually a much better player than he has seemed so far in Orlando, but I would feel better about him as a prospect if he used his left hand more often. By my count, in the second half, Granger went to his left on a drive just once (he was blocked out of bounds on the play). For the most part, his left hand seems to be used mostly as a transition back to his right before he drives.
- From my game notes: “Why is Fab Melo?” I forgot what my original question was, but that four-word phrase kind of sums up Fab’s time in Orlando. We saw 10 very forgettable minutes from Melo on Wednesday.
- Tim Abromaitis had a nice game, dropping 14 points and going 6-13 from the floor. He came up limping after one layup in transition, and it’s always a little frightening to see a player limp away with a giant leg brace on. The good new: He seemed to be fine, and he had an active, productive second half.
- Pressey’s shot seemed off, and he took a couple of fall aways that I complained about yesterday in my breakdown of his game, but 10 assists in 25 minutes of a Summer League game is pretty impressive. Even better: Pressey knocked down a floater in the first half, which is going to be an essential shot for him to master at his size in the NBA.
The Celtics have Thursday off before they wrap up their Summer League stint on Friday. Enjoy the game, since it’s the last time we will see the team on the court until preseason.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.