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Game Thread: Vegas Summer League: Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat

Celtics look for their 4th straight victory as they take on the Miami Heat.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Boston Celtics (2-0) vs Miami Heat (1-1)
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
7:00 PM ET
TV: Summer League Pass,  NBA-TV (Tape Delay 1:30 am ET), CSNNE
Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV

The Celtics return to the court after a day off to face the Miami Heat.  The Heat are playing on the second night of back to back games while the Celtics had Monday off.  The Heat lost a close game to the Nuggets on Monday, after winning their opening game on Saturday against the Jazz

As with the first game in Vegas,  NBA-TV will not carry this game live.  They will have it on a tape delay at 1:30 am eastern time.   It will be available live on the Summer League Pass.  It appears that the Celtics are still not on the League's preferred teams list.  CSNNE will also broadcast this game live as well as air a replay on 7/25 at 4:00 pm ET.

James Young will miss this game with the hip injury that has kpet him out of the first two games in Vegas.  Eric Buckner has left the Celtics Summer League team  to pursue other opportunities. Michael Holyfield has been added to the roster to replace him  Holyfield played with the Grizzlies in Orlando, averaging 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. 

The Celtics are looking for their 4th straight victory in Summer League play.  After losing the first two games in Utah,  they won the final game against the Spurs and then won the first two games in Vegas.  They are currently undefeated in Vegas.  After this game, the teams will go to a playoff style schedule with seedings to be posted after tonight's games. 

Celtics Roster
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
20 Holyfield, Michael* C 6-11 270 Sam Houston State

Players to Watch
Jordan Mickey
Mickey has impressed in Summer League so far and Steve Bulpett reported that the Celtics are working with him on a contract.  He is leading the Las Vegas SL players in blocks with 3.5 per game and also field goal percentage at 59.1%.  He's got a chip on his shoulder since he feels he should have been a first round player and is going to bring just what the Celtics need. 

Terry Rozier
Rozier has played very well so far in Summer League for the Celtics and that should continue in this game.   His defense has been excellent and he has also looked good running the offense.  It will be interesting to see him play against second year point guard Shabazz Napier

RJ Hunter
Hunter struggled in his first 2 games but then had a big game in the final game in Utah and has played well since.   There is a battle between Hunter and Young for the SG position and so far Hunter is winning.

Heat Roster
32    Ennis, James*    F    6-7    208    Long Beach State
38    Howard Jr., Juwan*    G    6-5    228    Detroit Mercy
25    Kalinoski, Tyler*    G    6-4    189    Davidson
26    McGruder, Rodney*    G    6-4    205    Kansas State
13    Napier, Shabazz*    G    6-1    175    Connecticut
34    Olaseni, Gabriel*    C    6-10    225    Iowa
14    Richardson, Josh*    G    6-6    200    Tennessee
51    Smith, Joshua*    C    6-10    360    Georgetown
36    Trice, Travis*    G    6-2    177    Michigan State
29    Tuttle, Seth*    F    6-9    225    Northern Iowa
5    Walker, Henry*    F    6-6    235    Kansas State
28    Whittington, Greg*    F    6-8    212    Georgetown
20    Winslow, Justise*    F    6-6    225    Duke

Players to Watch
Justise Winslow
Winslow is the player that the Celtics tried very hard to move up in the draft for.  So far in Summer League he is averaging 11.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists.   Winslow scored just 3 points in the Heat's Monday night loss to Denver. 

Shabazz Napier
Like Marcus Smart, Napier is approaching his second season in the league.  He is averaging 13.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5 assists.  Napier scored 20 points with 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the Heat's loss to the Nuggets on Monday.   If Smart plays, it will be an interesting matchup. 

Greg Whittington
Whittington is averaging just 6 points and 5 rebounds per game but has improved with each game he has played in Summer League.  In Monday's loss to the Nuggets, he scored 16 points with 3 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Key Matchup
Marcus Smart vs Shabazz Napier
Assuming both players play in this game,  this should be a good matchup of second year point guards.  If Smart doesn't play,  Rozier vs Napier would be a good test for the Celtics' rookie as well. 

Keys to the Game

The fact that the Celtics have won the games that they rebounded well in and lost the games where they were out-rebounded isn't an accident.  The Celtics must box out and crash the boards. 

The Celtics are gelling and playing as a team.  They need to continue to trust each other and make the extra pass and play as a team.


Defense wins games.  This isn't just a cute saying,  it is fact of life.  The Celtics came into Summer League wanting to be the best defensive team in SL and they have been playing good defense.  They have to continue to play well defensively and get stops. 

Who is Playing

As with the previous games, the biggest X-factor will be which players are playing and which are resting for both teams.

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