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Game Thread: Vegas Summer League Game 1 - Celtics vs Blazers

Celtics begin Vegas Summer League against former Red Claw Tim Frazier and the Portland Trailblazers.

Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Boston Celtics (0-0) vs Portland Trailblazers (0-0)
Las Vegas Summer League Game 1
Saturday, July 11, 2015
8:00 PM ET
NBA-TV (replay 6 AM ET), Summer League Pass
Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV

The Celtics finished the Utah Jazz Summer League with a 1-2 record and now move on to the NBA's premiere Summer League in Las Vegas.  The Celtics started off slowly in Utah and struggled in the first two games but came on strong in the third game, playing well on both ends of the court. 

The Celtics came into summer play with the goal of being the best defensive team in both Summer Leagues.  The took a big step in that direction in their final game in Utah and will need to work well as a team in order to reach that goal in Vegas. 

The competition will pick up notch or two in Vegas and the Celtics will need to pick up their intensity to match the other teams they will be playing.  Also, the Celtics have already played in 3 games while the Blazers skipped both the Utah and Orlando Summer leagues and will be playing their first game in this one.

James Young will miss this game with a hip injury that occurred in the win over the Spurs.  Phil Pressey did not accompany the team to Vegas.    The game won't be shown live on NBA TV when it is on at 8 pm eastern time.  It will be shown on a tape delay at 6:00 am eastern time on Sunday morning.  It will shown live on Summer League pass that is now available for $4.99 here

Celtics Roster
Eric Buckner, F-C, Georgia State
C.J. Fair, F, Syracuse
Jonathan Holmes, F, Texas
R.J. Hunter, G , Georgia State
Jordan Mickey, F, Louisiana State
Malcolm Miller, F, Holy Cross
Royce O'Neale, F, Baylor
Terry Rozier, G, Louisville
Ralph Sampson III, C, Minnesota
Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State
Marcus Thornton, G, William & Mary
Corey Walden, G, Eastern Kentucky
James Young, G-F, Kentucky

Players to Watch
Terry Rozier
The Celtics' 16th pick comes into Vegas with averages of 12.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG,  3.7 APG, and 1.7 SPG from the Utah Jazz SL.   He has looked good and his confidence has grown with each game. 

RJ Hunter
In his first two games, Hunter struggled and went  0-4 in the two games.  He snapped out of his mini slump in the 3rd game, hitting all 4 3 pointers and 4-7 from the field and 6-6 from the line for 18 points.  Hunter can score and hopefully his hot hand will continue. 

Jordan Mickey
Mickey has shown some promise in the 3 games in Utah.  He averaged 9.7 PPG,  5.0 RPG, and 2.0 BPG.  Mickey is athletic and very good on the defensive end and should be on the regular season roster.

Marcus Smart
Smart has been a man among boys in Utah SL play.  He led the Utah league with 24.0 PPG,
4.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 2.5 SPG, and 1.0 BPG.  He probably won't play all the games in Vegas but the Celtics will continue to give him opportunity to get more experience playing the point. 

Trailblazers Roster
Moultrie, Arnett, F, Jiangsu Dragons (China)
Bogans, Keith, G-F, Boston Celtics
Chery, Kenny, G, Baylor
Cochran, Karl, G, Wofford
Connaughton, Pat, G, Notre Dame
Crabbe, Allen, G, Trail Blazers
Dawkins, Andre, G, Sioux Falls (D-League)
Dennis, Stephen, G, Melbourne United (Austrailia)
Frazier, Tim, G, Trail Blazers
James, Ra'Shad, G, Reno (D-League)
Keselj, Marko, F, Mega Leks (Serbia)
Leonard, Meyers, C, Trail Blazers
Montero, Luis, G, Westchester C.C. (N.Y.)
Orton, Daniel, C-F, Grand Rapids (D-League)
Thomas, Malcolm, F, Philadelphia 76ers
Vonleh, Noah, F, Charlotte Hornets

Players to Watch
Tim Frazier
Frazier played most of last season with Maine Red Claws where he averaged 16.1 points, 9.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game in 41 games and was named the D-League MVP.  He was called up to the Trail Blazers late in the season and impressed them enough to gain a contract for the rest of the season. 

Noah Vonleh
Haverhill’s Noah Vonleh is a local player who impressed the Celtics in workouts, but not quite enough for the 6th pick.  He was drafted 9th by the Charlotte Hornets and played in 25 games for them in his rookie season, averaging 3.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.4 blocks.  He was traded to the Blazers on draft day and is looking to make an impression on his new club in the SL.

Pat Connaughton
Connaughton is another local player out of St. John’s Prep.  He was impressive in the draft combine with the highest vertical leap of the group.  There was some talk that the Celtics would take him with one of their picks, but he was taken by Brooklyn with the 41st pick and traded to Portland on draft day. 

Myers Leonard
The 7'1" Leonard was the 11th pick in the 2012 draft.  He has played 3 seasons and averaged 5.9 PPG,  4.5RPG, and  0.3 BPG.  He could give the undersized Celtics problems in the paint. 

Keys to the Game
Rebound - The Celtics were out rebounded by 20 in each of their first two games in Utah and they lost both games.  They crashed the glass and came up just 4 short in the rebounding column and won the game.  They need to make an effort to box out and grab rebounds in this one as well. 

Go to the Hoop - The Celtics have been successful when they take the ball inside.  They shot 60% from beyond the arc against the Spurs after shooting just 24% and 10% in their first two games.  Threes are great, but if they aren't falling, the Celtics must try to get inside instead of bombing away from outside. 

Team Play - The Celtics have played 3 games in the first Summer League.  They played more as a team in their final game there and that teamwork and togetherness needs to continue in this game, especially against a Blazers team who are playing in just their first game.   

Which players Play

Summer is all about expermentation and Coach Larranaga may very well sit Smart, Rozier, Hunter, and Mickey in favor of getting a look at some of the undrafted guys.

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