By: Cristofer Zillo
With a win Tuesday night against the Fultz-less Sixers, the Summer Celtics are now 3-0 in MGM’s Summer League. The Sixers found a way to battle without their #1 draft pick, but the Celtics had control for most of the game, finishing it out with a final score of 88-83.
Tatum, as always, was special. Although he didn’t drop 20, he ended the game with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. After missing a free throw and turning it over a few times, he looked a little shaky. Tatum is truly at his best when he stops thinking and lets his game flow through naturally, but he forced a few too many shots in this one. However, he did have a mesmerizing sequence in which he shook off his defender with some isolation dribbles and canned a deep 2.
Tonight the C’s could not handle the ball, finishing with a grand total of 20 sloppy turnovers. Jaylen Brown, before he bruised his right thigh and exited the game, demonstrated a well-known weak spot in his game: his handle. As expected, Brown has taken it upon himself to bring up the ball this Summer. Oftentimes he will dribble into the lane and have his pocket picked. Ante Zizic, too, could not keep the ball in his hands. He led the team with 5 turnovers. During one particular play that was all too reminiscent of Amir Johnson’s time in Boston, Zizic caught the ball near halfcourt, turned, and allowed his defender to simply raise his arm and slap the ball away. There were some diamonds in the rough, though. Despite his butter fingers, Ante did have himself a double-double. He hauled in 13 boards, four of them coming at the offensive end, and scored 12.
The players of the game--there were two-- came from unexpected sources. Jabari Bird and Demetrius Jackson both brought intensity to this game, even when their teammates seemed to lose their initial energy. Bird, with 15, lifted the team with points down the stretch and a ferocious, one-handed putback slam. Jackson ran the offense and scored some crucial buckets in the 4th, finishing with a solid 14. When asked about his performance, Jabari simply stated, “We don’t care about the individual stats. We want to win.” With the amount of talent on the Summer Celtics squad, they definitely have a solid chance to win MGM’s Summer League. Hopefully, they can continue to pool their talent together to win more games.