1. Neither Aaron Nesmith nor Payton Pritchard needs to play another minute in Las Vegas. That’s this Summer League or any Summer League in the future. Both have shown they are beyond the level of competition and continuing to play them is only exposing them to needless risk of injury.
2. Let’s start with Nesmith. We wanted to see him create a little more with the ball in his hands. He’s shown signs as a passer, which is great. But what we really wanted to see was: Can he get buckets that aren’t spot-up jumpers?
The answer is: Yes.
First, he hit a little floater. This isn’t a shot we saw Nesmith even attempt as a rookie:
Aaron Nesmith with the nice floater off the dribble here. He's showing some nice added versatility on offense. pic.twitter.com/hew4owjenV— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) August 13, 2021
A little jab-step into a couple of dribbles and a pull-up is great to see from the second-year wing:
Nesmith making it look too easy pic.twitter.com/EGcFR5qNJR— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 13, 2021
This pass in transition to Pritchard is one Nesmith doesn’t make last season. Good to see him look for it, as opposed to forcing a shot:
that sophomore year connection pic.twitter.com/RUxfpjmqxU— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 13, 2021
3. Moving on to Pritchard…He’s been ridiculously good. The deep bombs are all kinds of fun:
Beyond that, Pritchard has shown a nice mix of drives, pull-up jumpers and spot-up shooting. And his facilitation skills look to be much improved. This has shown up quite a bit in the last two games with Bruno Fernando giving the team a rim-rolling presence they didn’t have in the first game.
4. Carsen Edwards only got a half of a game, as he suffered a right ear laceration late in the second quarter and didn’t return. Edwards made a couple of jumpers before exiting, but his spot on the roster has to feel a bit tenuous. Given he’s owed minimal money and has an expiring contract, Edwards is probably the easiest player to move via a salary-dumping trade.
5. Sam Hauser had his breakout game. He also confirmed after the game that he’d be signing a Two-Way contract with Boston. We know Hauser should be able to do this:
What Hauser will need to show in Maine is the ability to score off the dribble. And he’s got to improve his defense. Hauser has got a poor man’s Doug McDermott game. McDermott got stronger to hold up inside and he improved his quickness just enough to stay on the floor. That’s the goal for Hauser.
6. Juhann Begarin continues to flash the potential that made him a 2021 draftee. He’s already very quick and he’s strong enough to guard bigger wings. His shot comes and goes. Begarin made one smooth three-pointer early in the game from the left corner. Then from a similar spot in the second half, he hit the extreme upper corner on the side of the backboard.
What’s been most impressive about Begarin is his passing. Like many European players, he’s clearly grown up in a culture of ball-movement. That will help him if/when he makes it to the NBA.
7. After a flashy debut, Yam Madar has had some struggles in the last two games. He was better in Game 3 than in Game 2, but his physical limitations are showing up some. Madar is tough and not afraid of contact, but he’s too easily bumped off the ball or the shot right now. Improving his strength will go a long way towards determining his NBA success.
At the moment, given the Celtics roster constraints, Madar probably isn’t worthy of a spot. Another year of overseas development is probably best for both him and Boston.
8. Bruno Fernando is intriguing. As a bit of a smaller big, Fernando has some craft as a finisher inside:
His defense has potential. He’s fairly quick and he’s got strong hands. But Fernando loves to reach and jump for shots he has no chance at. He’s also got a liking to crash in for no-hope offensive rebounds. Those things are just going to cost him fouls. It would be interesting to see how Fernando looks after a year of working with Al Horford on offense and defense and Enes Kanter on his post-up game.
9. Romeo Langford got a scheduled night off. As a third-year player who has had a multitude of injury issues, this isn’t a bad idea. Langford hasn’t dominated, but he’s shown enough as a playmaker off the bounce that the Celtics should feel good about his Summer League appearance.
10. If Boston beats Philadelphia on Saturday, they should advance to the Summer League championship game. There is no tournament this year. The two best teams by record and point-differential advance to the title game. Given that the Summer Celtics have two massive blowouts on their ledger, they’re in good shape to make the title game in Las Vegas.