Romeo Langford Is Finally Making His Celtics Debut Tomorrow So Here's What I Want To See
OK before we dive into Romeo, it’s good to hear that everyone practiced today which means Timelord’s pulled dick muscle isn’t anything serious. Seeing as how ORL has a plethora of legit bigs, he’s going to be important. Plus I want to see if he learned anything from his rough spots defensively in his debut the other night.
But the big news is that for the first time in his Celtics career, we’re going to see Romeo Langford play basketball. He sat out Summer League due to his thumb injury, then he didn’t play against CHA after tweaking something in practice so this is a pretty big moment for us Celtics fans. There was talk on draft night about how Ainge reached for Langford after he didn’t blow everyone away at Indiana…but he was hurt. We have no idea what he’ll look like, but what we do know is that Ainge has a hard on for highly ranked high school talent. Sort of like how he “reached” for Avery Bradley who was the #1 recruit in his high school class. This was a very Danny Ainge pick and I’m excited to see what he can do. Every single rookie and even the undrafted Tacko have been nails ever since they took the court in these fake games whether it was over the summer or in the preseason, so if Romeo slides in and continues that trend, well now we really could have something.
The truth is though, he’s still extremely raw and a giant question mark given we haven’t seen a single thing from him in any sort of competitive setting. With that in mind, this is was I’m curious about heading into tomorrow’s game when it comes to Langford
1. How does his shot look
There’s no other way to say it, he didn’t shoot the ball all that well in college, but I’m willing to give him a “pass” due to that thumb injury. Well if that’s 100% healed and he’s been working with the coaching staff to improve his form/release, I want to see how that looks. I also want to see how he’s able to create offensively at each level, something that was supposed to be a strength of his heading into the Draft. Especially when it comes to attacking and finishing at the rim, something is a BIG need from every player on this roster
2. Can he show signs of one day being a playmaker at the next level?
He only had a 14.2 assist percentage at Indiana which isn’t great, so it’ll be interesting to see what his role is on this second unit. Will he be used more as a primary scoring option? Does he have better vision and offensive awareness as a wing than say, Jaylen Brown? It’d be nice if his value wasn’t strictly tied to his scoring ability, but instead if he could project to be a plus playmaker at some point.
3. How’s the defense look
Everyone knows if you want to play for Brad as a rookie, you’re best bet is being able to show that you can defend at an acceptable level on a consistent basis. With the questions in terms of their frontcourt defense, how the perimeter players are able to defend is important. The Magic had some good athletic wings/two guards so I’m excited to see how Langford stacks up.
The rational way to approach this is to not overreact one way or the other based on what we see tomorrow. But that’s not what preseason is for. Everyone knows the rules state that if your young lottery prospect plays well in these games it means he’s going to be awesome, and if he struggles it means you can ignore it because these are fake games. At the end of the day I’m just excited to see him play because of all the rookies he may be the most important one considering Jaylen’s uncertain future.