Greetings Celtic Nation. I had the fortune last night to watch the Celtics Summer League tilt against the Denver Nuggets. I'd like to take a moment to share my impressions, which are mostly based, not on stats, but on what I saw out there.
I went into the game scouting players as if I were preparing to draft. Movement, with and without the ball, demeanor, tendancies, hustle, fundamentals, presence, and many other intangibles were part of what I was looking at, as many of these guys I had never really seen play before. Others that I had seen, I wanted to view in a non-college related manner. As we all know: This isn't college anymore.
So, without further ado, here are my thoughts/analysis:
Banks: Ok, we all know I have reservations about him. For now, those reservations will remain. He's got the tools to be a good pg in this league. Mental issues plague him though. IMO, Banks will pass the rock, but if it comes back to him in the same possession, then he's going to try to score. Seems to be his wiring and I'm not fond of the "black hole" mentality(For those not familiar, that's not a racial remark, but rather a ballers que that basically refers to the fact that: "the ball goes in, but it never comes out".) Hopefully Doc can instill more offensive patience and the realization that we have others better suited to scoring.
Allen: He's not quite the athletic freak that people portray him as. He is however, very athletic and talented and will end up being one of those late first rounders who actually end up contributing to thier team in his first 1-2 years. It'll be off the bench for us, but he's got the goods. He's the type that right now, can play breather/stop-gap time for us, at a minimum. His hustle and commitment to defense will endear him to those who value those fundamental attributes.
Jefferson: I'm not going to be able to find enough superlatives to describe what I believe he's going to become. I now know why the kid could only lift 185 twice at his workout though: He looks like he's never lifted a weight in his life. He's working off natural/functional strength. Get this kid time to put on muscle and it will round out his already phenonmenal offensive skills(He's smooth, knows how to create space, gets square, etc.) This kid already has confidence on the floor and that's going to set him apart immediately. He knows he can play, but was humble in his post game remarks. He said he needs to work on learning to play better defense. He very well may end up being the "steal" of the draft. It's too early to call it, but keep it in mind. He put a spin move on someone last night from the top, right hand corner of the key that was simply devine. He then went right to the rack for the jam and the guy was just standing there dazed.
Perkins: If we're talking about Jefferson's confidence, then we should talk about the fact that Kendrick's isn't quite developed yet. Still tenative, but he's a Man-Child. He's not developed yet into the Amare like player he's going to be. His progress from what I saw last year is remarkable. He just needs time to learn to use that body of his. Think of Kendrick in terms of the kid who just went through puberty and is still a little timid about what he can do with it just yet. He already seems to have some moves that he has confidence in and you can tell right off when he uses those moves. He's a bit of a paratrooper though and bought on alot of fakes last night. Defense will take some time with him as well. Him and Jefferson have me thinking that we're going to have one hell of a front court in 2 years.
West: Has me worried. Maybe it's just me, but he looks a little lost and used to doing things "the college way". I hope that he'll be able to adapt, because right now, he looks like he's going through the motions of what he thinks he's supposed to be doing for his college coach. He's got a decent shot and knows that when he's out there playing the pg spot, he's supposed to be passing, which he did. However, in the madness that is Summer League, the guy on the floor who's doing everything textbook is usually the guy to be most concerned about. It makes you wonder if he's got the physical skills to play at this level or if he's just an exceptional executor of the game plan. There's nothing wrong with the latter, because it provides some reliability. However, if the game plan is predictable(as ours has been the past few years) then so is he.
Ernest Brown: Physical Monster. If we can find a way to keep him on the roster, we need to IMO. Someone else will grab him up, I have no doubts about this. He's determined out there and doesn't appear to give up on any play. Think Mark Blount, only with ALOT more attitude in the manner in which he plays. Darius Songalia slipped away from us last season and if there's a way to keep this guy in the drawer until an "In Case of Emergency, Break Glass" type scenario (Like Raef LaFrentz going down with a re-occurance of his knee injury) then he'll be a guy who can give us quality minutes. He showed a nice passing touch on occasion last night as well, which is always good for a big man.