WALTHAM, Mass. -- Lost in the 123-107 destruction of the Boston Celtics at the hands of the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night was the NBA debut of rookie guard Demetrius Jackson.
He came on to the floor in the second quarter and finished with eight points in just 11 minutes of court time.
Despite the game’s outcome, it was by all accounts a successful debut for the 21-year-old.
Even though the game was well out of the Celtics’ reach for most of his time on the floor, Jackson showed an ability to shake off some early anxiousness and put together a decent debut.
It’s too soon to say whether Jackson’s debut will warrant additional playing time down the road.
But what he did in limited minutes on Sunday certainly didn’t hurt his chances.
“It’s a long year,” Jackson said. “Looking forward to playing with the guys and cheering them on as well.”
Jackson, drafted by Boston with the 45th overall pick in last June’s NBA draft, was a player many predicted was going to be drafted earlier than the second round.
After a solid showing with Boston’s summer league team, the Celtics signed him to a four-year, $5.4 million with the first year – worth $1.45 million – fully guaranteed with about half of the second year ($650,000) guaranteed.
One of the reasons Jackson got on to the floor was because head coach Brad Stevens was looking for some kind of spark as the Celtics put together one of their worst performances this season.
Jackson wasn’t sure what to expect when he made his debut, but he’s glad he has gotten it out of the way for sure.
“The first time you step on the floor in an official game, you’re nervous, you get butterflies, that sort of thing,” Jackson said. “I’m thankful to have that opportunity to go out and play.”