Things I liked
-Grant Williams (5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) doing the little things. I hate rookie comparisons (Jayson Tatum is the next Paul Pierce!), but Grant does have some Horford-like qualities. In the first quarter, he had a putback on one end before taking a charge on the other. Soon after, he knocked down a straight-away three. Edwards is getting all the buckets, but I honestly think Grant is the best player on this summer squad. Boston is probably content to have him take a backseat role while they get a better look at anyone they’re unsure of.
-Chinanu Onuaku (6 points, 4 rebounds, 10 tons of muscle) is a wrecking ball. I still don’t really know what position he plays or if he can shoot, but I do know is that he’s nearly unstoppable (in a summer league setting) going downhill. I seriously doubt the Celtics have room for him, but he deserves a G-League spot somewhere.
-Tremont Waters (11 points, 5 assists, 3 steals) just came up with the most ridiculous steal, so I’m immediately writing him into my “things I liked” section.
.@lifeofnanu_32 pic.twitter.com/9fmocjfKPT— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) July 9, 2019
Can we just sign the whole team? Or can summer league have a full 82 game schedule?
-Tacko Fall’s touch around the rim (finished with 12 points on 5/5 shooting). This whole “I’m gonna out-tall everybody” thing isn’t going to fly against real NBA teams (if he gets to play against them) where he’ll get bodied up by stronger dudes, but he’s got a great scoring touch that can translate into some real NBA minutes.
Things I didn’t like
-Carsen Edwards (14 points on 6-10 shooting) - who I already think is a fantastic player - is out there shooting threes without a conscience. I still want him to shoot, but he’s way too good to settle for some of the shots he takes. (Of course, Edwards started driving to the rim right after I wrote unkind words about him, but my point stands.)
Things I’m not sure about
-Robert Williams (10 points, 2 blocks, 4-9 shooting). Everything he’s done out there is solid. He’s extraordinarily athletic, which is a distinct advantage that he hasn’t been able to capitalize on. The Cavaliers blocked him on the rim on multiple occasions because Rob went for some sort of triple-pump fake before going up with it. It’s hard to draw fouls in the summer league - Rob committed five.
This team gives me the same fuzzy feelings I got when the Celtics rolled out Williams/Ojeleye/Yabusele/Wanamaker/Anybody garbage-time minutes last year. It’s a scrappy, fun squad that dunks the ball a lot. They’re simultaneously unselfish and trigger happy. Yabusele, in the most charming way, is bowling over camera men and hitting the floor to fight for possessions in the most important minutes of his career. Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters are playing the most potent perimeter defense I’ve ever seen in a summer league game. I’m loving all of it. I hope we can stack the Maine Red Claws with as many of these guys as possible. And with all due respect, are we sure Max Strus deserves the two-way deal over these other guys? He’s a hustler, so I’m fine with it, but I’d be having second thoughts if I was the guy who promised him a spot.