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Friday, 12 July 2013 22:34

Boston Celtics Summer League Reflection

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Earlier this week, the Boston Celtics competed in the Orlando Summer League. They competed in four games, finishing the tournament with a 2-2 record. The team, coached by Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga, consisted of thirteen young prospects looking to find a roster spot on the team. Several players shined, but others are now unlikely to find a home in the NBA.

The star of the tournament was the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Kelly Olynyk. He started all four games at power forward, and averaged 19.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. Many Celtics fans doubted him before the tournament, but Olynyk silenced the hate. He proved that he can score in a variety of ways, including the three point shot. This season, Olynyk will have a chance to pass Jared Sullinger as the team’s starting power forward.

Another star of the tournament was undrafted rookie Phil Pressey. The former Missouri point guard averaged 10 points, a team high 5.75 assists, and 2.25 steals per game. His best performance came in the fourth game, where he scored 6 points to go along with 10 assists and 3 steals. While Pressey came into the tournament with few expectations, he proved all of the doubters wrong. He will now likely make the Celtics roster this season, and will have a chance to be the team’s backup point guard.

Tony Mitchell also proved that he deserves consideration for a roster spot this season. The reigning NBA D-League Rookie of the Year played well in the team’s first three games, averaging 13.3 points and 4 rebounds per game over that stretch. He struggled in the team’s finale, but that was overshadowed by his play in the beginning. Mitchell will likely be given an opportunity to make the Celtics roster this season, but his worst case scenario is another season in the NBA D-League.

One player who disappointed the organization was Fab Melo. Despite being one of the most experienced players on the team, he was unable to contribute much offensively, as he never reached double digit points. His point total decreased significantly every game, which hurt the team’s performance. Melo has proved to be a great disappointment since the team selected him in the first round of last year’s draft. He was considered to be a long term project at the time, but if he doesn’t step up soon the team will have to move on and look for a new young center.

Other than Olynyk, Pressey, and Mitchell, no players made a consistent impact over the course of the tournament. The only other players who may find themselves on the Celtics this season are young centers Fab Melo and Colton Iverson. Neither of them played well in the Summer League, but the Celtics organization was high on both of them at draft time so they will likely have more time to develop.