Notes from NBA Summer League (So Far)

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For the rebuilding Boston Celtics, Summer League play could not be more important for the development and exposure of young talent as the team moves forward. With new names like Marcus Smart and James Young (hopefully) paired with some familiar faces in Colton Iverson and Kelly Olynyk, the Celtics will look to do a lot of blending before another season begins. That being said, here is a quick look at what we have learned from the Boston Celtics’ Summer League so far.

Phil Pressey Is More Than Adequate – The hype entering summer league play was fellow guard Marcus Smart but the man running the offense has been instead Phil Pressey. The second year guard still struggles hitting the outside shot but his quick feet, pressing the ball along with his vision and change of direction on offense make him an extremely solid option as a backup guard when the season arrives.

Marcus Smart Is Strong – As if the draft experts didn’t tell us enough, fans are once again being pounded with how NBA ready Smart’s body is. On the court his strength is visible on defense and finishing inside but his physical prowess has also been his greatest weakness. The same strength that allows him to overpower other players leads to overconfidence and lack of control as he rumbles around the floor at times. This will improve with time as the rookie gains NBA experience and is coached up by the Celtics’ staff.

Olynyk Is Still A Step Away – Defense aside (because he simply can’t defend) second year center/power forward Kelly Olynyk shows a lot of promise scoring on the inside. His upside was noticeable in game one with 20 points however Olynyk is still not quite there yet. On his 20 point night, Olynyk shot 8-17 from the floor which is both too many shots and not quite as efficient as a centers statistics should be. Don’t get me wrong, Olynyk has all the potential in the world on offense but needs to get to the line more and finish with more consistency inside.

The Celtics Have No Interior D – Colton Iverson is a solid big man if you are looking for energy and fouls on the inside but he is not disrupting shots with regularity and neither is Olynyk. The young duo on the inside has been abysmal on the defensive end and nullifies Boston’s solid perimeter defense. Unfortunately for the Celtics during the regular season the addition of Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass to the lineup will only help to weaken an interior defense with little hope.

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