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Vegas Summer League - Game 4 Celtics (3-0) vs Blazers (2-2) 7/16/15

The Celtics begin tournament play with a rematch with the Blazers.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics begin tournament play with a rematch with the Blazers.

Boston Celtics (3-0) vs Portland Trailblazers (2-2)
Las Vegas Summer League Game 4
Thursday, July 16, 2015
10:30 PM ET
NBA-TV, Summer League Pass
Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

The Celtics open their Summer League playoffs against the Portland Trailblazers, the team they defeated in their first game in Vegas.  The Celtics didn't know if they would play the Blazers or the Wolves until late last night when the final game of the evening was completed and the Blazers came out on top. 

If the Celtics win this game, they will play again at 4:00 PM on Saturday.  If they lose, they will play at 10:30 on Friday night as the playoff format continues.  If they lose either game, their Summer League is over.  If they win tonight and Saturday, they would play again on Sunday at 6:00 PM and the Championship game will be on Monday at 9:00 PM. 

The 2nd seeded Celtics had a bye in last night's first round of play.  The Blazers played in the final game of the evening and needed to turn around and play again in the final game of tonight's play.   With most of the players being young guys, that shouldn't be a huge factor but it may come into play at the end, especially if the game is close. 

The Celtics are undefeated in Vegas and have won 4 in a row after losing their first two games in Utah.  They have played well as a team and the Celtics draft picks have impressed along with Jonathan Holmes and CJ Fair.  Marcus Smart has been on a different plane from everyone.   . 

James Young will play in this game with no restrictions.  The Celtics need to continue to play with hunger and not be complacent, especially since they beat the Blazers once already.

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 is leading the Las Vegas SL players in blocks with 3.0 per game and also field goal percentage at 59.1%.  He is second in rebounding with 10.7 rebounds per game.   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.

James Young
Young may or may not play in this game due to the hip injury that kept him out of the first three games in Vegas.  He came into SL saying how hard he has worked and then has fallen flat in the games so far before the injury  He needs to have a break out game or may find himself on the outside looking in.

Jonathan Holmes
Expectations weren't very high for the undrafted Holmes entering Summer League but after 6 games (with 5 starts), he has gotten the attention of the Celtics and other teams.  He is averaging 10.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.4 percent from 3-point range over all 6 games.  He has improved with each game and in Vegas has been impressive with 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocked shots per game while leading all Celtics by shooting 54.5 percent on 3s.  The Celtics are crowded at the power forward spot but if Holmes impresses enough he could earn a spot there or on another roster. 

Trailblazers Roster
34    Moultrie, Arnett+    F    6-11    250    Jiangsu Dragons (China)
60    Bogans, Keith+    G-F    6-5    215    Boston Celtics
6    Chery, Kenny+    G    5-11    180    Baylor
16    Cochran, Karl+    G    6-1    175    Wofford
5    Connaughton, Pat+    G    6-5    215    Notre Dame
23    Crabbe, Allen+    G    6-6    197    Trail Blazers
29    Dawkins, Andre+    G    6-4    206    Sioux Falls (D-League)
40    Dennis, Stephen+    G    6-6    180    Melbourne United (Austrailia)
10    Frazier, Tim+    G    6-1    170    Trail Blazers
8    James, Ra'Shad+    G    6-1    193    Reno (D-League)
17    Keselj, Marko+    F    6-9    218    Mega Leks (Serbia)
11    Leonard, Meyers+    C    7-1    255    Trail Blazers
44    Montero, Luis+    G    6-7    185    Westchester C.C. (N.Y.)
18    Orton, Daniel+    C-F    6-10    255    Grand Rapids (D-League)
26    Thomas, Malcolm+    F    6-9    225    Philadelphia 76ers
21    Vonleh, Noah+    F    6-10    240    Charlotte Hornets

Players to Watch
Tim Frazier
Frazier was the final cut from the Celtics training camp squad and 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. He is averaging 11.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG,  7.5 APG for the Blazers in Summer League.

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 making an impression on his new team in Summer League with 16.3 PPG,  8.3 RPG,  and 0.3 BPG. 

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. He is averaging 8.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.0 APG in Summer League. 

Keith Bogans
Bogans isn't exactly a young player but he is competing with Portland in Summer League to try to make a team after sitting out since the Celtics sent him home in the 2013-14 season.  He has disputed the Celtics version of events and said that he did nothing wrong and wants to rehab his reputation and show he's a team player in Summer League. 

Key Matchups
Jordan Mickey vs Noah Vonleh
This should be a good matchup with two players with a chip on their shoulders trying to prove themselves.  Noah was overloooked on the Hornets and wants to prove that he can contribute if given the minutes.  Mickey feels he should have been a first round pick and is trying to prove that as he works out a contract with the Celtics. 

Marcus Smart (or Terry Rozier) vs Tim Frazier
Frazier has been playing very well for the Blazers and can be a difference maker in a game.  It will be fun to watch the matchup with both Smart and Rozier. 

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 three wins.  They need to continue to box out and crash the boards going after every rebounds.

The Celtics have to make defense a priority.  Defense wins games, whether in Summer League, the regular season, or the playoffs.   The Celtics have some good defenders on the team and must play team defense to get the win. 

Team Play

Both teams have had a chance to gel and grow together as a team.   The Celtics have to continue to play as a team and work together.   They can't grow complacent and relapse into "hero ball." 

Don't Die by the Three

The Celtics have some good 3 point shooters but sometimes they just don't fall.  If the 3's are falling, that's great.  If they aren't they need to get into the paint and go to the hoop.  

Revenge vs Over Confident
The Celtics beat the Blazers 85-76 in their first game in Vegas.  The Blazers will be looking to avenge that first loss.  The Celtics can't be over confident and let up because they beat them once already. 

Who's on the Floor
The Celtics may or may not rest players or continue to evaluate players at the end of the bench.   If they play their best players, they have a good chance to get a win.

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