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Ojeleye owns Celtics’ first SL game, Boston beat Philly 95-89

Rookie Robert Williams’ night ends early, but two promising sophomores, Semi Ojeleye and Guerschon Yabusele, closed out a hard fought game in the Celtics’ SL debut.

2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In what is becoming a familiar theme with the Celtics’ first round pick, Robert Williams much anticipated start came with a whimper. After a promising start (after not starting the game) with a loud dunk and sweet mid-range jumper, Williams left the game in the second quarter after banging knees with another player and heading to the locker room. He returned to the bench at halftime with an ice pack on his left knee. After the game, he said that the knee contusion was in the same spot that he has some tendinitis and he’s unsure of his availability for tomorrow night.

There were bright spots in Boston’s 95-89 win against the Sixers to open up Vegas Summer League play. It’s clear that the limited playing time that Semi Ojeleye got in his rookie season is paying dividends this summer. For many players in their first and second year, it can take a year or two to unlock their game with confidence; playoff minutes guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, and LeBron James has given Ojeleye juice.

Still thicc and jacked, Ojeleye scored in a variety of ways. Most notably, he seemed more comfortable driving the ball and finishing around the rim. That’s a similar leap that Jae Crowder made between his first and second season in Boston. After the game, Ojeleye said, “That’s what I’m here for, to expand my game.” He finished with sixteen points, hitting two three pointers.

Guerschon Yabule is still a work in progress, but you can see why the Celtics still believe in the big man. He may have only hit 6 of 14 shots, but the versatile Dancing Bear banged on the block and shot from the perimeter, including a dagger 3 in the closing seconds. He showed soft hands distributing the ball from the elbow and used his giant frame (read: big butt) to grab seven rebounds.

Jabari Bird (who the Celtics extended a qualifying offer to) and Kadeem Allen (currently on a two-way contract) showed flashes, too. Bird finished with 14 points and Allen dished out 3 assists.

The Summer Celtics play again tomorrow night at 11 pm EST against the Denver Nuggets.

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