Celtics beat the Heat 85-77 in Orlando Summer League

Jared Wickerham

This is what the rebuild looks like. While teams comb through the free agent market, the Celtics have quietly used the summer to improve from within.

Marcus Smart didn't have the best shooting game, but you can see why Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens are in love with this kid.  You'll hear the word "competitor" a few times before the week is over.  Avery Bradley is still the best on-ball defender on the team, but Smart is really good off the ball.  He puts so pressure in the passing lane and he finished with six steals.  With Pressey running the point, he played a lot of off ball and you can see how he'll work alongside PP or RR.  When the ball swings to him after a defensive rotation, he'll drive the ball and look for the next open man as the defense collapses.  He went to the line eight times and dished three dimes.

Kelly Olynyk, on the other hand, seemed more than comfortable out there.  He impressed last season in Orlando and KO picked up where he left off a year ago.  He's visibly slimmer and more cut than just three months ago.  He's still got that crafty complete game with all the spin moves and silky jumper, but shedding some of that weight has made him more agile moving his feet on defense and a stronger finisher at the rim.  He turned in an impressive 20 & 8.

Summer league certainly runs at a different pace than the average NBA game with younger players more apt to kick it up a notch in an effort to make an impression and a lot of bloggers tweeted about Phil Pressey's need to slow his game down a little.  He finished with solid numbers, but the six turnovers were due to a lot forcing the issue in transition.  On the defensive end, he absolutely owned LeBron's "favorite college player" Shabazz Napier.  Napier was 3-15 from the field and was consistently hounded on the ball by Pressey.  Phil won't have that kind of effect on most of the guys he goes up against, but at almost equal size, he was Napier's shadow today.

If Colton Iverson can keep up this kind of effort, my guess is that he'll make the team this fall.  He consistently made the right decision at the high post with Miami blitzing all high pick-and-rolls and was a banger on defense.  It looks like he used his time in Turkey last year and refined his offensive game; he's got a little jump hook floater now and seems more comfortable with his back to the basket.

Some quick notes: James Young did not play due to that neck injury from minor car accident, Mike Moser finished with 17 points off the bench, and Chris Johnson and Chris Babb, both on non-guaranteed deals, contributed four points each.

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