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The Summer Celtics Made Basketball Fun Again, And We Should Be Forever Grateful

2019 Las Vegas Summer League - Memphis Grizzlies v Boston Celtics

Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 8.30.52 AM

Is it a good thing that as the 1 seed the the Vegas Summer League Tournament the Celts lost to an 8 seed, a team who they had beaten by a billion just a few days earlier? On the surface no, that’s in fact not good, but remember these games are fake so none of that matters! Instead I choose to look at these last few days as a pretty perfect summer league. We saw everything we needed to see from the young guys playing in their first NBA action, Robert Williams proved that he should probably start, they were the best team for four games and now aren’t forced to play more meaningless games and risk anyone getting hurt. That’s the other big positive from the last week or so, everyone walked away unscathed. But most importantly, they showed us how to love Celtics basketball again. They washed away all the bullshit that we witnessed last year when nobody was having any fun. I’ve never had more fun watching Summer League than I have with this group, and maybe so some that’s meaningless, but to us Celtics fan that’s basically everything.

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While there’s a part of me that would have enjoyed raising another summer league banner like we did back in 2016 in Utah, and it pains me that we’re not on a hiatus for months until preseason starts, I can’t help but walk away feeling fucking fantastic after what I saw in Vegas. Now we wonder what Ainge will do with the final roster spot, does it go to Tacko or some other sort of veteran who accepts the minimum. I say fuck it roll with Tacko, I imagine you do as well, but none of us have any idea how that man thinks and what his plan is.

But before we get ourselves all worked up about what this roster might look like in October, let’s relive what we say yesterday because you’re hungover so why the hell not.

The Good

– Big news everybody. We have an official winner for my summer league heart. An award that his highly respected and highly coveted throughout the league, it pretty much goes Finals MVP, Regular Season MVP, Summer League Crush Award. It’s that big a deal. After much thought and consideration my heart has made a decision and that is who we will begin today’s blog with. Congratulations to Carsen Edwards

Perhaps it was the Fuck You Threes, maybe it was the fact that he put up the highest Celtics Vegas average since 2004, maybe it was how he almost shot the Celtics back into this game all by himself, but it’s impossible to walk away from Vegas and not be extremely excited about what Edwards might be able to bring this roster in the backup PG role. He signed his 4 year deal, I’m ready to give him 15-20 minutes a night of instant offense , and I think it’s fair to say he ended up being as advertised.

I will say, his tunnel vision still scares me a little. Yesterday was an example of how that can hurt him, it felt like he was forcing his offense a little too much early in the game, so that’ll be something I worry about once the real games start. I love the mentality to shoot your way out of it if you have the talent, but I also want to see him not be selfish. He had 25 last night on 9-23 shooting which isn’t great, 14 of those were from three which is hilarious and to me one of the best parts of his entire time in Vegas is he doesn’t turn the ball over. You defend as best you can, make threes and don’t turn it over, Brad is going to play you.

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– I have such a ridiculous amount of respect for Tremont Waters it’s not even funny. The guy is going through hell right now with the sudden passing of his father, and what does he do a few days later? He suits up, and not only that, but he plays well

Would anyone have been upset if he sat out the rest of the summer to go handle his family business? No. But sometimes basketball can be an escape and that’s probably what this was for him. I must say, watching him in Vegas I’ve been really impressed with his quickness and ability to shake his defender and get to the rim, there’s usually one or two plays a night that catch your eye. He’s crafty, he has good vision, and the size doesn’t really bother me. We saw what Ainge must have seen when he gave him his Two Way.

– One of my favorite parts of watching Grant play is how one possession he can be a point forward, another do work on the block, and when the team needs it the most, he is an elite grifter. You can’t tell me all those skills aren’t going to translate perfectly into how this team plays. We all made a big deal over his +/- this summer, and while he was a -8 last night we’re seeing the type of skillset that is going to make him extremely versatile in Brad’s system. The best way I would describe it is he just knows where to be at the right moments. He does all those things that a solid role player is going to need to do to impact winning. The improvement in his three point shot was the biggest surprise of his summer, but now you get a sense of why people were saying this could be a 10 year pro on Draft night. He’s the definition of solid both in stature and in his play.

– Not as dominant a performance from Timelord, but I’ll take the 12 rebounds and 2 blocks. He only played 20 minutes which we’ll get to later, but to me he’s shown enough to get that first crack at the starting center spot. I’m intrigued by his passing, from what I saw on the defensive end it looks like his ability to read rotations is getting better, and I see no reason why he can’t have a Baynes type role at first. You don’t have to play him 30 minutes, but let him get the first crack and if he’s playing well then leave him out there.

The Bad

– I didn’t think I’d ever wake up and have a problem with Scott Morrison, but I have a bone to pick with you sir. I’m going to need an explanation as to why Tacko Fall only played 7 minutes. You know, the 7’7 giant who no player has been able to even remotely stop. Seven minutes? The people were there to see that man dominate and we got nothing. This is it

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From what I understand he’s not hurt. Wouldn’t you think that a guy who needs as much film as possible for Ainge to be able to make a decision should ya know, get more time on tape? That tells me he either has made the roster and they didn’t want to risk it, or he’s not making the roster and they didn’t want him to get hurt to ruin his chances somewhere else. Either way we did not get nearly enough Tacko for my liking and I argue it cost them the game.

For example, the last few possessions, how do you have Robert Williams AND Tacko on the bench? Classic Tim Duncan/Pop situation that ultimately led to the Ray Allen three. What a dumb coaching decision that was.

– In true Celtics fashion it wouldn’t be right if they didn’t shit themselves in a second quarter. I’m talking the Brad Stevens special 30-6 run. Brought me back to the good old days when we all wanted to gouge our eyes out because Brad refused to remember how to call a timeout. The game the other day it was the Celts who pulled away in the second quarter, yesterday it could not have been more of the opposite. Basketball so bad it was almost good and definitely comforting for a fanbase that saw that type of play on a nightly basis for 8 months.

– Weird how the defense lacks, the Celtics lose the rebounding battle including allowing a game sealing OREB, and they lose. Almost as if defense and rebounding are the key to everything. I wonder if anyone ever talks about that.

– Sometimes a team comes out and makes like 8 threes in a row. Part of that was poor closeouts my Tremont Waters, but sometimes it’s just not your day. The way MEM shot the ball to start this game you sort of had an idea of how things were going to shake out.

The Ugly

– What else could you put here other than the 36/28% shooting splits? It was like 28/16% in the first half too. Almost like this was really just a tribute performance to the dogshit 2018-19 Celtics because that’s pretty much how they played. Lazy on defense, heavily reliant on threes that were not falling, and poor late game execution. That’s the trifecta right there folks and boy is it just as horrendous as I remember.

– For example take how they lost. We’ve been saying for years that inbounding the basketball is the hardest thing on the planet, and wouldn’t you know that’s still true

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Fucking Grayson Allen that cuck.

– Granted, the Celts were only in that position because this play didn’t count

and Edwards went on to miss his first FT. Did that upset me and keep me up late last night replaying it over and over in my head? Yes. Am I proud of that? Yes. This is the only way I know how to live.

So that’s a wrap for the 2019 Summer Celtics. Dare I say they single handedly changed how this city feels about the game of basketball. We spent a whole year hating it, legit disgusted with what we were watching and longing for the days when Celtics basketball was fun. The Summer Celtics brought that back in just 5 games and I am thankful for it. Now cross your fingers Tacko makes the team and I’ll see everyone in training camp.