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Game Thread: Vegas Summer League: Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers

The Celtics go for their 3rd straight win in Summer League play as they take on the Sixers for the second time.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics (1-0) vs Philadelphia 76ers (0-1)
Saturday, July 12, 2015
10:30 PM ET
TV:  NBA-TV, Summer League Pass
Thomas and Mack Center

After losing their first two games in Utah,  the Celtics have now won their last two games.  Both teams are playing in back to back games.  The Celtics are coming off an 85-76 win over the Portland Trailblazers while the Sixers are coming off a 68-60 loss to the LA Lakers

These two teams met already in the Utah Summer League and the Sixers dominated the Celtics in that game, winning 76-62.  The Celtics have been playing much better since that game and will be looking to gain a bit of payback in this one.  Unlike last night's game, this game will be aired live on NBA-TV at 10:30 pm ET. 

During the regular season,  the Celtics prided themselves on winning in the second of back to back games.  Hopefully, this group will have that same mindset.   The Celtics led by as many as 20 in last night's game and let the lead slip to just 2 points but rallied to go back up and win the game. 

James Young missed Saturday's game vs Portland with a hip injury that he suffered in the final game in Utah against the Spurs.  He is listed as doubtful for this game.  The Celtics have Monday off before resuming play on Tuesday and it's possible he may return for that game.

UPDATE: Center Jahlil Okafor, point guard T.J. McConnell and possibly J.P. Tokoto are expected to miss this game for rest.  All 3 players played against the Celtics in their last meeting in Utah. 

Celtics Roster
60    Buckner, Eric    F-C    6-10    220    Georgia State/USA
49    Fair, C.J.    F    6-8    215    Syracuse/USA
68    Holmes, Jonathan    F    6-8    240    Texas/USA
28    Hunter, R.J.    G    6-6    190    Georgia State/USA
55    Mickey, Jordan    F    6-8    235    Louisiana State/USA
48    Miller, Malcolm    F    6-7    210    Holy Cross/USA
47    O'Neale, Royce    F    6-6    215    Baylor/USA
12    Rozier, Terry    G    6-1    190    Louisville/USA
70    Sampson III, Ralph    C    6-11    244    Minnesota/USA
36    Smart, Marcus    G    6-4    220    Oklahoma State/USA
27    Thornton, Marcus    G    6-4    190    William & Mary/USA
46    Walden, Corey    G    6-2    189    Eastern Kentucky/USA
13    Young, James    G-F    6-6    215    Kentucky/USA

Players to Watch

Jordan Mickey
Mickey believes that he should have been a first round pick and as with other players who have slid on draft day is out to make teams sorry they passed on him.  Along with that, he is playing for a spot on the roster.  He took a big step for both as he finished Saturday's game vs Portland with 15 points, 10 rebounds 2 steals and 3 blocks.  He is the only player to start all 4 games for the Celtics in Summer League so far. 

Jonathan Holmes
Holmes went undrafted but had been predicted by some mocks to go in the first round.  He is playing for a spot on a roster somewhere in the league, if not for the Celtics.  He has played well including 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks against the Blazers. 

James Young
After a disappointing rookie season, Young came into Summer League with big expectations after putting on 20 lbs of muscle and saying that he worked hard on his game.  He has struggled to score so far in SL and also has looked lost on the defensive end.  He very much needs to start to show some improvement.  After missing last night's game with a hip injury, he is listed as doubtful for this game.

Sixers Roster
27    Booker, Askia    G    6-2    175    Colorado/USA
43    Harrell, K.T.    G    6-4    212    Auburn/USA
50    Hunter, Vince    F    6-8    205    UTEP/USA
51    Jackson, Charles    C    6-10    225    Tennessee Tech/USA
55    Jackson, Pierre    G    5-10    180    Baylor/USA
45    Jones, Jamal    F    6-8    196    Texas A&M/USA
14    Kazemi, Arsalan    F    6-7    226    Oregon/Iran
17    McConnell, T.J.    G    6-3    200    Arizona/USA
52    McRae, Jordan    G-F    6-6    185    Tennessee/USA
8    Okafor, Jahlil    C    6-11    270    Duke/USA
9    Sampson, JaKarr    G-F    6-9    214    St. John's/USA
Tokoto, J.P.       -       n/a
Wilbekin, Scotty       -       n/a
Zack, Steve       -       n/a

Players to Watch

Jahlil Okafor
The #3 pick from the draft has been playing well for the Sixers so far for the Sixers.  He is averaging 15.25 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block per game so far in Summer League.   He had 13 points and 9 rebounds in the Celtics loss to the Sixers in Utah. 

Jerami Grant
Grant is averaging 11.7 points and 4 rebounds per game.  In the win over the Celtics in Utah,  Grant finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

Jordan McRae
McRae played well in the Sixers first game against the Celtics with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.  He averaged 25.1 points on 52.0% from the field and 42.6% in 13 games for Delaware in the D-League last season.

Key Matchup
Jordan Mickey vs Jahlil Okafor
Okafor was the highly rated 3rd pick in this season's draft and Jordan Mickey was the 33rd pick in the draft who feels that he should have been a first round pick.  . With the Sixers announcing that Okafor will likely sit out this game for rest,  I guess the matchup will be Mickey vs whoever plays center for them, that is, unless the Celtics sit Mickey also.  Oh the joys of trying to put up a Summer League game thread!!!

Keys to the Game
The Celtics were badly out-rebounded in their first two games in Utah but since then have done much better on the boards in their two wins.  They need to continue to crash the boards and go after rebounds.

The Celtics have to make defense a priority.  Defense wins games, whether in Summer League, the regular season, or the playoffs. 

Team Play

This is the Celtics' 5th game in Summer League.  The Sixers are also playing in their 5th game of Summer League.  Both teams have had time to gel as a team and it will be important for them to play as a team and work together. 

Who's on the Court
In Summer League, the coaches experiment with the lineups to give all the players a chance to play so that they can evaluate them and it isn't always the best players who get the playing time.

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