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Boston Celtics (0-1) vs Washington Wizards (0-1) Summer League Game #2 7/9/23

The Celtics look to get their first win of Summer League as they take on the Washington Wizards.

2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League - Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

This is the second game for both the Celtics and the Wizards. Both teams played their first game on Saturday and both are playing in the second of back to back games. Both teams lost their first game. The Wizards finished 12th in the East last season with a 35-47 record. They traded their two stars to begin the offseason with Bradley Beal going to Phoenix and Kristaps Porzingis going to Boston.

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 Wizards are coached by Landon Tatum. He was the Associate Head Coach of the Capital City Go Go last season. He was also a member of the Wizards’ player development and Assistant coaching staff in his 6 years with the Wizards.

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 could play before Summer League is finished.

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.

Celtics Roster
J.D. Davison #20
Kamar Baldwin #26
Jordan Walsh #27
Jay Scrubb #29
Mychal Mulder #37
Justin Bean #38
Vincent Valerio-Bodin #41
Sam Griesel #45
Olek Balcerowski #50
Udoka Azubuike #51
Reggie Kisoonlal #55
Justin Champagnie #99

Starters Last Game
PG: J.D.Davison
SG: Jordan Walsh
SF: Justin Champagnie
PF: Justin Bean
C: Olek Balcerowski

Head Coach
Tony Dobbins

Players to Watch

Jordan Walsh
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. 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.

JD Davison
Davison was the Celtics 53rd pick in the 2022 draft. He was a 2-Way player for the Celtics last season. He played 26 games with the Maine Celtics and averaged 12.5 points and just under 9 assists per game. He played spot minutes in 12 games for the Celtics. He started at the point for the Celtics in their first game and posted a double double of 14 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists and 2 steals.

Jay Scrubb
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.

Wizards Roster
Tristan Vukcevic #00
Bilal Coulibaly #0
Johnny Davis #1
DJ Stewart #5
Jules Bernard #8
Ryan Rollins #9
Dejan Vasiljevic #10
Kyle Alexander #11
Xavier Cooks #12
Osun Osunniyi #21
Donovan Williams #23
Quenton Jackson #29

Starters Last Game
PG: Ryan Rollins
SG: Johnny Davis
SF: Bilal Coulibaly
PF: Xavier Cooks
C: Tristan Vukcevic

Players to Watch

Bilal Coulibaly
Coulibaly was picked 7th by the Wizards in the 2023 draft. He was a teammate of the top pick, Victor Wembanyama. Coulibaly is a difference-maker around the rim, moving well without the ball, pouncing on offensive rebounds and attacking the rim whenever possible. He played for the U21 team and averaged 21.9 points, 2.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game in LNB Espoirs competition. He finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block on Saturday against the Pacers.

Johnny Davis
Davis was the Wizards 10th pick in the 2022 draft. Things didn’t go so well for him in his first season with the Wizards. He played in 28 games, averaging 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.0 assists. He shot just 38.6% from the field. He is looking to make more of an impact in these summer games for the Wizards. He got off to a good start with a team high 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals against the Pacers in Washington’s first Summer League game on Saturday.

Patrick Baldwin, Jr
Baldwin was the 28th pick by the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 draft. He was traded from the Warriors to the Wizards on draft night for the 57th pick in the 2023 draft. At 6-9, Baldwin is a big forward with the size to shoot over defenders with ease. He’s known for his long-range ability, but didn’t get minutes in Golden State to show his game. He is hoping to prove himself here is Vegas for the Wizards. He finished with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocks on Saturday.

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 while the Wizards scored just 83 points in their first game. Jordan Walsh, whose shooting was a question mark coming into the draft, shot 6-11 and 4-6 on threes and hopefully he can continue to shoot well.

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. However, in their first game, they allowed the Heat to shoot 41.9% from beyond the arc. They are going to have play better defense than that.

Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics had 19 turnovers to just 12 for the Heat in their first game. The Wizards had just 12 turnovers in their first game while forcing 21 turnovers for the Pacers. 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. The Wizards were out-rebounded 59-51 by the Pacers. The Celtics definitely need to improve their rebounding effort if they hope to beat the Wizards.

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.

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