On Monday night, Evan Fournier became the 4th player to go 0-10 or worse in their debut with a new team and the first since Antawn Jamison with the Cleveland Cavaliers who went 0-12 in 2010 per Elias Sports Bureau. What a start to his Boston Celtics career. Fournier may have left a bad taste for many fans, but it may be more important to look past the stat line and see what Fournier brought to the team as a whole.
Poor shooting nights like this happen, every player has been there. This article is not going to be bashing Fournier for his off night. It will be more about analyzing his time on the floor and how (when he makes instead of misses) the offense can utilize his game. The Celtics now have another scorer that can put up points when he is in rhythm. This scoring is what the team is expecting him to bring.
Right off the bat in the Celtics game Monday night, Evan Fournier displayed a passing ability that will be very useful to the team. He caught the ball using a Robert Williams screen and then drove and kicked out to a open Jayson Tatum on the wing. It was a miss by Tatum, but a great find from Fournier out to the corner. This was the ball movement on the wing that Gordon Hayward gave the team which has been dearly missed since his departure.
Early on in the Pelicans game, there was a sense of new life in the offense. The ball was whipping around and everyone (for now) were making their shots. It was the type of offense Brad Stevens has been preaching about. Sometimes, just a change of talent can make a huge difference.
As mentioned, nights like this happen for players. Unfortunately for him, it was on a debut for Fournier, but these nights will not continue for a player who was averaging 19.7 points per game for the Orlando Magic. Multiple times throughout the night the Celtics ran plays to get Fournier going and making the shots to find a rhythm. This pin down three-point attempt is a perfect example of Stevens drawing up a play for him to get hot. He was almost a 36% catch and shoot shooter in Orlando, so these types of plays is where he can do his damage.
The majority of his shots in this game were good looks, just missed. The secondary offense will be to continue to give him screens freeing him open that can keep the second unit afloat. Fournier can be that spark if Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown are getting deserved rest.
The fan base will not be happy with the new signing after a night like this. He will need to rebound and quick. It will be important to have a short memory and focus on the positives from this game. Fournier ultimately had a solid defensive game with two steals and two blocks but of course all overshadowed by his ‘oh-for’ in the shooting column. Bounce back and all will be forgotten in this blunder against the Pelicans.