To wrap up their Summer League stint, the Boston Celtics Summer League squad fell to the Brooklyn Nets 102-95. The Celtics looked great in the first half, but eventually ran out of gas in the second and were unable to complete the fourth quarter comeback.
Juhann Begarin was excellent to start, pouring in seven points and showcasing an off-the-dribble plus catch-and-shoot ability for the developing three-level scorer. Begarin was active finding his teammates and initiating a majority of the actions.
Begarin’s defensive performance was welcoming, too. He registered a steal after swatting a pass and scored in transition. He was the best player on the floor for the first seven minutes, a floor that included league-leading scorer Cam Thomas. After struggling at times in Vegas, Begarin flashed his athleticism, and used that athleticism to play well on both ends of the court.
After the all-around great start, the Celtics let the Nets back into the game. Brooklyn’s Day’Ron Sharpe and and Kessler Edwards combined for 11 points to lead the Nets to a 23-22 first quarter lead.
Begarin stopped the bleeding by jumping a passing lane, and finishing in transition for an and-1. The following play, he drew contact and connected on free throws to make the score 30-23.
Begarin had 14 points and was 5-5 from the field with 7:50 left in the quarter. Mfiondu Kabengele was also excellent to start and continued his strong stint in Vegas, scoring 9 points and registering 2 rebounds, and 2 blocks with 7:21 left to go. The two hyper-athletic Celtics combined for 23 points on 9-12 shooting. Out of the half, it was Kabengele’s turn — he drained a spot-up 3-pointer.
Once again, J.D. Davison was wheeling and dealing, logging 9 assists and 9 points halfway through the third quarter. Trevion Williams offered significant minutes in the third quarter as well, scoring on a second-chance opportunity and dishing out his patented over-the-head, cross-court pass for a Davison layup.
Despite the strong quarter performances from Davison and Williams, Brooklyn held a 72-69 lead with one quarter remaining after outscoring the Celtics 26-17 in the third quarter.
Led by Begarin, Davison and Kabengele, the Celtics nearly completed the fourth quarter comeback but ultimately fell in their final Summer League 102-95 to the Nets.
J.D. Davison and Trevion Williams controlled the pace
Davison was the key to the Summer League transition success, sending the ball up the court to find open teammates for catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. All the while, Davison flashed his finishing ability in speed. His athleticism and decision-making propelled the Celtics throughout Vegas.
In the frontcourt, Trevion Williams helped facilitate the offense through the high post. He showcased some back-to-the-basket hook finishes and fed shooters on the perimeter.
Juhann Begarin progress
Begarin is insanely athletic. He didn’t allow a poor early-Summer League outing to impact him and he showcased his all-around, 3-level scoring ability in this final contest against Brooklyn.
When he wasn’t putting the ball in the basket, Begarin impacted the game in a variety of ways, playing aggressive on-ball and off-ball defense and pulled down some solid rebounds.
Begarin continued to be aggressive, using both his strength and footwork to score, and he finished with 25 points against Brooklyn. Despite the lofty expectations, Begarin was still able to walk away from Vegas with one important thing: progress.