This is the third game for both the Celtics and the Lakers. Both teams played last played on Sunday. Both teams lost their first game. The Lakers finished 8th in the West, but fought their way to the Western Conference Finals where they lost to the Nuggets. They beat the Hornets 93-75 and the Warriors 103-96 in their first two Las Vegas Summer League games. They also played in the California Classic Summer League where they lost both games.
The Celtics are coached by assistant coach Tony Dobbins, who has been an assistant with the Celtics since 2020, under Brad Stevens, Ime Udoka and Joe Mazzulla. He served as a video coordinator for the Celtics during the 2019-20 season. The Lakers are coached by J.D. DuBois. DuBois is an assistant coach brought onto the staff by Darvin Ham upon his arrival. Previously, he served as a player development coach in Toronto for a season in 2017-18 before serving on Dwane Casey’s staff from 2018-2022 in Detroit.
Delano Banton, who was signed to a 2 year deal, is rumored to be playing on the Summer League team. but isn’t listed on the roster. The Canadian point guard has not put it together at the NBA level, averaging 4.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game with the Raptors last season while shooting 42.3% overall, 29.4% from 3 and 70.8% from the line. He has been out with a finger injury but may play in this game.
As with every Summer League, 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 starting lineup for each team from their first Summer League game. For the most part, evaluating players to see which ones might fit with the roster is more important to these coaches than winning the games.
J.D. Davison #20
Kamar Baldwin #26
Jordan Walsh #27
Jay Scrubb #29
Mychal Mulder #37J
ustin Bean #38
Vincent Valerio-Bodin #41
Sam Griesel #45
Olek Balcerowski #50
Udoka Azubuike #51
Reggie Kisoonlal #55
Justin Champagnie #99
Starters Last Game
SG: Justin Champagnie
SF: Jordan Walsh
PF: Justin Bean
C: Olek Balcerowski
Players to Watch
Walsh was the Celtics 38th pick in the 2023 draft. He is 6’7” with a 7’3” wingspan. He averaged 7.1 ppg for Arkansas last season on 43% shooting. He can defend 1-5 and with and is unselfish and a hard worker. He just signed a 4 year $7.6 million contract with the Celtics. He is off to a good start with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocks in his first Summer League game and 12 points, 2 rebounds 3 assists and 1 steal in his second game. The biggest question about Walsh coming in was his shooting, but he shot 6-11 from the field and 4-6 from beyond the arc in his first game so clearly there is some promise there.
Champagnie went undrafted in the 2021 draft. He signed a 2 way contract with the Raptors in 2021 and resigned on a 2 year contract in 2022. After being waived by the Raptors, he played for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and was signed by the Celtics in April 2023. He has played well so far with 7 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists in his first game and 21 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 block in his second game.
Scrubb was the 55th pick by the Brooklyn Nets in 2020. He has played for the LA Clippers, Agua Caliente Clippers, Orlando Magic and the Lakeland Magic over the past 3 seasons. He played very well in his first action for the Summer Celtics, finishing with 17 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals and 1 block off the bench. He finished the second game with 17 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals and 1 block off the bench.
Scotty Pippen, Jr
Starters Last Game
PG: D’Moi Hodge
SG: Max Christie
SF: Jalen Hood-Schifino
PF: Cold Swider
C: Colin Castleton
Players to Watch
Christie was the 35th pick in the 2022 draft. He played for the Lakers in Summer League last year. He played for both the Lakers and their G-League team this past season. He averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks per game in the Lakers 2 games so far.
Swider went undrafted in the 2022 draft. He signed a 2 way contract with the Lakers and split time with the Lakers and the South Bay Lakers of the G-League. He averaged 13.5 points, 5 rebounds, .5 steals and .5 blocks in the 2 games so far.
Castleton was a 5 year college center who excelled at Florida. He was undrafted in the 2023 draft and was signed to a Summer League contract with the Lakers. He is 7 ft tall and 23 years old. He averaged 17 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals and .5 blocks per game in his 2 games so far.
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. They will also be looking for players who can shore up the wings and point guard spots. They scored just 88 points in their first game and increased to 98 in their second game. Walsh shot well in the first game and Champagnie shot well in the 2nd game. Which players will show off their shooting in this game?
Defense - The Celtics have put a premium on playing defense in the past and they will be looking to see which Summer Celtics fit that mold. JD Davison has already said that he plans to show he can be a dog on the defensive end and Jordan Walsh is also a very good defender. Players will have to show that they can play tough defense if they hope to get a spot on the Celtics or a two way contract.
Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics are averaging 22.5 turnovers per game while the Lakers are averaging just 12.5 turnovers per game. JD Davison alone had 10 turnovers against the Wizards. The Celtics will need to do a better job of taking care of the ball in this game.
Rebound - Rebounding is always important. The Celtics were out-rebounded 38-22 in their game against the Heat. They did much better in the second game, out-rebounding the Wizards 43-31 . The Celtics need to continue to crash the boards if they want to beat this Lakers team.
It’s Summer League - While teams want to win, every one of these teams is pretty much cobbled together from undrafted players, end of bench players, and G-League players. They have had limited practice time for the most part and so it’s hard to tell how each team will play and which teams will dominate. One thing for sure is that every player is trying to get noticed and earn a place on a roster and so we may see some players surprise us.