The Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 96-82 in their first Summer League game of the season on Saturday and Celtics twitter has already fallen in love several times over. Not only are the Celtics debuting 3 of their 4 brand new rookie draft picks but there’s also undrafted Tacko Fall, second year big man Robert Williams and of course fan favorite Guerschon Yabusele. Here are 5 key takeaways from Saturday’s game.
Grant Williams Beast Mode
Coming off the bench for the Celtics, Grant Williams flashed major potential. He recorded 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and was a team high plus-21 in 20 minutes of action.
— Jordan Crammer (@JordanCrammer) July 6, 2019
Perhaps the most notable part of Williams’ first action with the Celtics was that he shot four three-pointers, making two, which matched his career-high from his collegiate career at Tennessee.
Coming into the draft, there were question marks regarding the 6-foot-7 forwards ability to shoot from outside. He averaged just one three point attempt over his three-year college tenure, making them just over 29 percent of the them.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens and summer league coach Scott Morrison have been encouraging Williams to “let if fly” from three, and making sure he’s shooting threes during “every free moment of practice.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 6, 2019
Robert Williams Expands Offensive Repertoire
With questions surrounding Boston’s big mans this upcoming season (after losing both Al Horford and Aron Baynes), second year center Robert Williams could be in for an uptick in minutes.
After being known for mostly a defensive presence throughout his college and rookie years, Williams shed weight this offseason and showed flashes of improvement on the offensive end of the floor.
In his rookie season, Williams attempted 92.2 percent of his shots less than 10 feet from the basket last season. On Saturday, Williams attempted three shots from 18-plus feet, missing all of them but showing his willingness to shoot from the mid-range.
Williams finished with nine points, nine rebounds, three steals, two blocks, and two assists. All four of his buckets came inside there paint, where he was quite effective last season. He also seemed comfortable handling the ball, including this sequence at the end of the first half.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 6, 2019
Yabusele Shows No Improvement
Forward Guerschon Yabusele never seemed to be able to figure it out on Saturday afternoon. The third year forward finished 0-for-4 from the field and was one of two Celtics to finish scoreless – guard Jon Elmore being the other.
Besides from scoring, Yabusele failed too do much to impress, finishing a team low minus-12 in 16 minutes of action. He exemplified bad awareness by failing to get an attempt off with the shot clock expiring in the third quarter, where the bench was shouting, “Shoot it!”
Entering his third year, Yabusele has not seemed to take any steps forward to improve his games and could be fighting for a roster spot.
Tacko Fall is More than Just Tall
It’s hard to miss the 7-foot-7 Tacko Fall, and he got the loudest cheers on the day.
Fall finished with six points, four rebounds, and one block in the Celtics 96-82 win. In his 10 minutes of action, Fall had a plus/minus of plus-18. His one block came in the first quarter when he ferociously swatted Haywood Highsmith’s layup attempt off the backboard.
— NBA (@NBA) July 6, 2019
Fall, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Celtics, heard several “We want Tacko” and “Tac-ko, Tac-ko” chants throughout the game. He even got “M-V-P” chants while shooting free throws.
Carsen Edwards Can “Score the Basketball”
Averaging 24.3 points per game for the Purdue Boilermakers last season, it was no secret second round pick Carsen Edwards could score. And it took no time at all to show that that ability was able to translate over to the NBA level.
Edwards drew the start for the Celtics, and dropped a team high 20 points on 7-for-17 shooting. He also knocked down five of Boston’s nine three pointers made in the game, showing off his range.
20 points and five 3-pointers for @Cboogie_3 in his Boston Celtics summer league debut. Looking good out there!
— Tomek Kordylewski (@Timi_093) July 7, 2019
It was clear the Celtics lacked scoring and shooting off the bench last season, and Edwards could be part of the solution. If he continues to score like this, the 6-foot-1 guard could carve out a significant role for the Celtics come October.