SALT LAKE CITY – Leading up to the Boston Celtics’ summer league debut on Monday night, Terry Rozier talked about he was becoming a smarter player and the game was beginning to slow down for him.
It’s one thing to talk about it.
It’s a totally different matter to see it play out which was indeed what happened in Boston’s 102-94 summer league win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rozier led all Celtics with 18 points to go with six rebounds and five assists – both team highs as well.
“I just slowed my mind down from the start of the game,” Rozier said. “I feel like last year in summer league I caught myself moving around too much and not being in the game too much so that’s what I wanted to take into consideration this summer and it helped me out a lot.”
Said assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry: “When we bogged down (offensively) you could always call a high pick-and-roll for him. He creates so much pressure on everybody else and the defense. He’s doing a good job of finding his teammates, attacking in transition when he has it.”
Indeed, it was a good start for Rozier who had a pulse on the game’s overall play from the outset, something he hopes to build on going forward this summer.
Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s summer league debut against Philadelphia.
There was no mistaking the growth in Rozier’s game from where he was a year ago this time. There was noticeable confidence about his overall play and feel for the game that was sustained throughout the Celtics’ win. He finished with 18 points on 6-for-13 shooting to go with six rebounds and five assists.
Having not played 5-on-5 basketball in months, Simmons looked really good out there. The 6-foot-10 forward’s court vision, even in a summer league setting, stood out from the rest. The long lay-off certainly contributed to him suffering two cramps in each calf, but not before he finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists with just one turnover.
He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but still managed to make his presence felt at both ends of the floor. Brown finished with 16 points, which included him shooting 11-for-17 from the free throw line. In addition, the Celtics rookie added a pair of blocked shots.
Another second-year player, Wood showed a nice inside-outside game and finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting to go with five rebounds.
It was a solid shooting night for Hunter, who had 17 points that included 3-for-6 on 3s. He also added five rebounds, one steal and a blocked shot.
Celtics transition defense
There were many things that the Celtics had to feel good about in their first summer league game. But in the same breath, there was plenty to clean up going forward. Boston has to do a better job with limiting points in transition as the Sixers outscored them 19-9 in fast break points. Just as disturbing was the fact that Philadelphia’s 19 fast-break points came on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be followed on Twitter: @SherrodbCSN