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Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics Las Vegas Summer League Game #5 7/16/22

The Celtics complete their 5 game Las Vegas Summer League schedule with a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

2022 NBA Summer League - Memphis Grizzlies v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

With this matchup against the Nets, the Celtics will have played every opponent from these past playoffs in Summer League. They lost to the Heat, who they faced in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then they beat the Bucks, who they faced in the second round. They also faced the Warriors, who they faced in the Finals, and now they face their first round opponent, the Brooklyn Nets.

Neither of these teams participated in Utah Summer League or in the California Classic Summer League so have only played the 4 games in Las Vegas. The Celtics are 3-1 while the Nets are 2-2 in Las Vegas. The Celtics are tied with the Trail Blazers and the Thunder for the longest win streak, winning 3 straight games. This is the Celtics 5th and final Summer League game and then we have the long basketball-less months until training camp.

The Celtics are averaging 100 points, 36.8 rebounds, 23.3 assists and 17.5 turnovers per game. They are shooting 44.8% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc as a team. The Nets are averaging 91.8 points, 37.0 rebounds, 16.8 assists and 17.8 turnovers as a team and they are shooting 43.5% from the field and 29.4% from beyond the arc.

As with every Summer League game, it’s difficult to predict a starting lineup as coaches are looking to try different lineups and combination of players and they want to get an idea of what each player brings to the table. I’ve listed the starters from each team’s previous game but there is a good chance that the coaches choose to use different starters for this game.

Celtics Roster
JD Davison 20
Juhann Begarin 45
Trevion Williams 50
Jordan Bone 51
Mfiondu Kabengele 28
AJ Reeves 41
Brodric Thomas 97
Matt Ryan 37
Sam Hauser 30
Jericole Hellems 29
Bryton Hobbs 55
Aubrey Dawkins 38
Robert Franks 43
Justin Jackson 52

Previous Game Starters
JD Davison
Brodric Thomas
Juhann Begarin
Justin Jackson
Mfiondu Kabengele

Head Coach
Ben Sullivan

Players to Watch

JD Davison
Davison is averaging 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game in the 4 games so far in Summer League. He is shooting 39% from the field and 46% from beyond the arc. He is coming off a win over the Grizzlies where he finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals and 1 block. He shot 64.3% from the field and 66.7% from beyond the arc. He has already signed a 2-way contract with the Celtics and will look to cement his position with another big game in this one.

Juhann Begarin
Begarin is averaging 16.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 39.7% from the field and 26.7% from beyond the arc. He is looking to show the Celtics that he is ready to come over and contribute to the team.

Justin Jackson
Jackson is averaging 20 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He is shooting 51.7% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc. Jackson has been in the league since 2017 and has bounced around to 5 NBA teams and 2 G League teams. He has played very well in the Summer League, especially on the offensive end and if he doesn’t get a camp invite from the Celtics, he will likely catch on with some team in the league.

Mfiondu Kabengele
Kabengele has started all 4 games so far and has made a good case for a spot on the roster this season. He is averaging 16.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. The Celtics could use depth at the center position and Kabengele has one more game to show the Celtics he deserves to be on the roster.

Nets Roster
RaiQuan Gray 4
David Duke, Jr 6
Kessler Edwards 14
Noah Kirkwood 17
Day’Ron Sharpe 20
Kaiser Gates 22
Cam Thomas 24
Alondes Williams 31
Yves Pons 35
Taze Moore 44
Brison Gresham 55
Donovan Williams 88

Starters Last Game
Cam Thomas
David Duke, Jr
Kessler Edwards
RaiQuan Gray
Day’Ron Sharpe

Head Coach
Jordan Ott

Players to Watch

Cam Thomas
Thomas is averaging 28 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in Summer League. He is shooting 42.7% from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc. He is coming off a game with 26 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists where he shot 43.8% from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc. He is definitely a threat to score.

Day’Ron Sharpe
Sharpe is coming off a game where he finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 4 blocks. He also shot 80% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. He is a player the Celtics need to defend and the matchup between Sharpe and Kabengele should be a fun one to watch.

David Duke, Jr
Duke is averaging 17.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He is shooting 47.1% from the field and 23.5% from beyond the arc. He is coming off a game with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. He shot 50% from the field in that game but was just 0-1 on threes.

Keys to the Game
Shooting - The Celtics will be looking for players who can shoot from the outside and also who can finish at the basket and there have been several on this team. The Celtics shot 47.3% from the field and 41.3% from beyond the arc against the Bucks and 45.1% from the field and 43.3% from beyond the arc against the Warriors. They shot 50% from the field and 36.1% from beyond the arc against the Grizzlies. Hopefully will shoot well again in this game.

Defense - The Celtics put a premium on playing defense and they will be looking to see which Summer Celtics fit that mold. Defense is always a key to winning, whether in the Summer League, in the regular season, or in the playoffs. The Summer Celtics need to step up on the defensive end and slow down the Nets scorers, especially Cam Thomas and David Duke, Jr.

Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics turned the ball over 20 times in their loss to the Heat and cut their turnovers down to 17 against the Bucks and down further to 15 against the Warriors. They had 17 once again against the Grizzlies. Turnovers can be expected from teams that have only been together a short time but cleaning these up can go a long way toward getting a win.

Rebound - Rebounding gives teams extra possessions and thus extra chances to score. The Celtics need to crash the boards and beat the Nets to rebounds in order to give themselves extra chances to score and also to prevent the Nets from getting fast breaks and extra possessions themselves.

X-Factors
It’s Summer League - Both of these teams have been pretty much cobbled together from undrafted players, end of bench players, and G-League players. Each of these players is trying to make an impression on the coaches and GM’s that are watching and so we may see a lot of hero ball, although the Celtics have been showing good teamwork in their last 3 games especially. Watching for individual improvement in players is probably the best way to watch these games. The Celtics have a few players who could earn a spot in Maine or on the roster.