The Boston Celtics took on the Orlando Magic for a preseason showdown that was as Summer League as preseason can get. To reflect the times, I’m going to do the most Summer League preseason recap possible. What does this mean? Let’s look at how the players who suited up today impacted their stock with tonight’s minutes (apologies in advance if you can’t see the emojis I’m using).
Pritchard was easily the top player on the court tonight for both teams. Just like in Las Vegas, Pritchard thrived with the deep ball and dribble penetration. He’s done more than enough to carve out a consistent spot in the rotation. He finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists on 57% shooting after leaving the game with a nose injury in the first half.
Shot-making went down a tad for Langford who came into this game having missed only one 3-pointer through two preseason games. Despite that, he did a great job of working within the flow of the offense with timely cuts and drives. This game won’t affect his position in the rotation much.
Crash lived up to his nickname, flying all over the court. His shot didn’t fall at a prolific rate in the first half, but the process was there. I appreciate his confidence, defense, and effort. He had a much better second half on the offensive end including a nice crossover and finish by Mo Bamba. Nesmith finished with 23 points on 8/16 shooting.
GRANT had a tough offensive outing, but nothing that will add or detract from his place in the rotation.
Uncharacteristically, Rob has struggled a bit from the field in the preseason. The spacing of the two teams Boston has faced so far this preseason has made it difficult for him to shine, but he did a great job of course correcting. He hit a few nice jumpers and showed off some hustle and vision. I’m excited for him to be the starting center on opening night.
Parker (10 points) entered this game like the last roster spot depended on it (which, to be fair, it might). He confidently walked into his shot several times and thankfully was hitting. Nothing we saw tonight was groundbreaking. When he gets opportunity, he can light it up. His defense was passable tonight, and that’s the real test. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have a microwave big wing to have at the No. 15 spot as a break in case of emergency guy.
Hernangomez had a couple of solid passes, but his shooting continues to be unremarkable despite being billed as a stretch four.
Kanter didn’t get exposed too much on defense and did more of what he’s good at: low-post scoring and rebounding. Good, limited play from him in just short of 14 minutes of court time.
Did a good job of keeping the offense flowing after Pritchard went down, but didn’t do much to distinguish himself either.
Just like Parker, Matthews checked into the game guns blazing. Like Parker, he fits the bill of a good break glass in case of emergency shooting guy at the 15th roster spot. I’m not sure if tonight’s game did anything to change his chances of getting that last spot. He also had a nice four-point play.
The deep bench
A Theo Pinson sighting! He actually did some really good things out on the court and almost led the team to a clutch win before heroics from Jeff Dowtin with 0.2 seconds left. He made a strong case for a roster spot. Bruno Fernando was high energy, and Sam Hauser came in and made an immediate impact with his shooting. There was a lot to like out on the court tonight.
The Celtics will close out the preseason slate against the Miami Heat on the tail end of a trip to Florida on Friday at 6:30 p.m. EST.