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Celtics begin tournament play against the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Celtics have reached the tournament portion of the Vegas Summer League ranked #19 and they take on the 14th ranked Cavaliers.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

#19 Boston Celtics (1-2) vs #14 Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2)
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
8:00 PM ET
Game #42 of Vegas SL
Stream:  ESPN 3
Cox Pavilion

The Celtics begin the tournament portion of Vegas Summer League with a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Celtics finished 19th with 5.0 points and Clevelend finished 14th with 6.5 points, even though both finished with 1 win and 2 losses.  The Celtics will be playing back to back while the Cavs last played on Monday.  Both teams lost their first two games in Vegas and then won their third game. 

The Cavaliers feature Jordan McRae, who was the 53rd pick in the 2014 draft and played in 15 games for Cleveland last season, averaging 4.5 points, 1.1 assists, and 0.9 rebounds.  They also have Kay Felder, the 54th pick in this year's draft.  Cory Jefferson was the 60th pick by the Spurs in 2014  and played in in 5 games for Brooklyn in 2014-15 and 8 games for Phoenix in 2015-16 and finished the year with the Bakersfield Jam. 

DeAndre Liggins was the 53rd pick by the Magic in 2011 and played in 17 games in 2011-12 before being traded to the Thunder where he  played in 39 games  and then to Miami where he played in just 1 game.  He played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season.  Sir'Dominic Pointer was Cleveland's 53rd pick in 2015 and he played for the Canton Charge this past season along with Michael Stockton,k who went undrafted.  Stockton is the son of NBA great John Stockton. 

The playoffs in Vegas aren't for wimps.  The Celtics and Cavs will play tonight and the winner of this game will play the Lakers at 10:30 ET on Thursday.  The #3 Lakers will have a bye in the first round.  If the Celtics win, that will mean that they will be playing 3 games in 3 nights.   

For the first time in Vegas, the Celtics won't have a considerable size disadvantage.   Unlike the other teams the Celtics have played, the Cavaliers have no 7 footers. Their tallest player is Eric Jacobsen, who is 6'10" tall.  Everyone else on the team is 6'9" or shorter. 

Celtics Summer League Roster
Player..... Number

Ben Bentil 50
Jaylen Brown 9
RJ Hunter 28
Demetrius Jackson 26
Jordan Mickey 55
Malcolm Miller 48
Abdel Nader 51
Jayvaughn Pinkston 52
Terry Rozier 12
Marcus Thornton 27
Corey Walden 46
Guerschon Yabusele 30
Mouphtaou Yarou 63
James Young 13
Coach: Jamie Young

Possible Starting 5

Terry Rozier
James Young
Jaylen Brown
Guerschon Yabusele
Jordan Mickey

Cavaliers Summer League Roster
Player     Number

Aaron Brown   35
Eli Carter  31
Kay Felder  20
Kenny Gabriel  16
Eric Jacobsen  46
Cory Jefferson  21
Trey Lewis   3
DeAndre Liggins 28
Jordan McRae  12
Sir'Dominic Pointer  15
Raphiael Putney  18
Diamon Simpson 49
Michael Stockton  10
Coach:  Phil Handy

Possible Starters
Kay Felder
Jordan McRae
Sir'Dominic Pointer
Kenny Gabriel
Cory Jefferson

Players to Watch

Jaylen Brown had his best game in Summer League on Tuesday against the Mavericks.  He finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals and 1 block.  He was also shot 17 free throws, making 12 of them.   It would great to see him take another step forward with back to back big games. 

Terry Rozier continues with a very strong Summer League performance.  He finished against the Mavs with 26 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 14-18 from the free throw line. 

Jordan Mickey hasn't had the Summer League performance that the Celtics have hoped for.  After injuring his shoulder on a block in practice, he missed all of Utah Summer League and he has been somewhat tentative in Vegas, averaging 9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.  It would be great to see him have a breakout game here.
Honorable Mention:  Abdel Nader has been one of the most consistent rookies for the Celtics.  He has scored in double figures three straight games.  He is averaging 11.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.  He may be a longshot to make the team.   He has clearly outplayed James Young.   

Jordan McRae has been Cleveland's best player.  He is averaging 20.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals.  They will need another strong game from him if they want to get past the Celtics.

Kay Felder was the Cavaliers only pick in this year's draft at #54.  He has been playing well in Vegas, averaging 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 3.0 steals.  He will have his hands full in this game with Terry Rozier, however. 

Cory Jefferson has been one of Cleveland's better rebounders in Vegas.  He had 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block in their win over the Timberwolves.  He is averaging 6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. 
Honorable Mention: Raphiael Putney  had 19 points in the Cavs win over the Timberwolves.  He is averaging 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. 

Keys to the Game
Rebound - The Celtics were out-rebounded by a large margin in both of their losses.  It wasn't a coincidence that they out-rebounded the Mavericks in their last game and won the game.  It takes extra effort to rebound the ball and when they put out that extra effort to do so, it carries over to the rest of their game. 
Defense - Defense is always key to winning whether it is in Summer League, in the regular season or in the playoffs.  The Celtics need to work on the defensive end to get stops and keep the Cavs from getting easy points, especially in the paint. 
Play as a Team - The Celtics need to play as a team.  They have tended to play too much one on one and hero ball so far in Vegas.  They need to move the ball and find the open man. 


Fatigue - The Celtics are playing in back to back games while the Cavaliers had Tuesday off and should be more rested.  Will the Celtics have enough in the tank to get this win?

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