Celtics

Celtics fail to execute down the stretch in Summer League loss to Grizzlies

Celtics fail to execute down the stretch in Summer League loss to Grizzlies

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics’ summer league dream of a championship has come to a crashing half following a 94-88 loss to Memphis in their summer league quarterfinal matchup. 

After trailing most of the game, top-seeded Boston had multiple possessions to tie the game or take the lead when they were down 89-87.

They finally trimmed the lead after Carsen Edwards was fouled. 

He made the second of two free throws that cut the Memphis lead to 89-88 with 37.9 seconds to play. 

But a series of Celtics miscues and big plays by the eighth-seed Grizzlies catapulted them to a 5-0 run to end the game. 

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s summer season-ending loss.

STARS

Tyler Harvey: The Grizzlies had several players step up after having been smashed by the Celtics just 48 hours earlier. Leading that charge was Harvey who had a team-high 20 points.

Tremont Waters: Regardless of what he did on the floor, simply willing himself to play made him a star tonight. Less than 48 hours after the death of his father, the Connecticut native was back on the floor starting for the Celtics summer league team. He still managed to play a solid game, scoring 16 points and three assists.

Brandon Clarke: A huge tip-in late in the game was a key factor Memphis holding off a late surge by Boston. But Clarke was involved in several other key plays for the Grizzlies as he finished with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Carsen Edwards: The shots just keep falling, one big one after another for Edwards who came off the bench and led all scorers with 25 points. 

STUDS

Bruno Caboclo: His activity on the glass was a huge factor in the game’s outcome as he finished with a near double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds. 

Robert Williams III: He scored just one point, but his ability to effectively patrol the paint was a major factor in Boston staying within striking distance. He would finish with one point but grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. 

Javonte Green: He had a huge gaffe on a late-game in-bounds play which on some levels masked what was an otherwise solid night in which he scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. 

DUDS

Grant Williams: The struggle was real for Grant Williams, who could never get his game going offensively while providing very little impact at the other end of the court. He would tally 11 points on 3-for-9 shooting. But more telling was his plus/minus was a minus-8 for the game. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Enes Kanter lays out saddening circumstance he has with Turkish government

Enes Kanter lays out saddening circumstance he has with Turkish government

Enes Kanter is a known critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his feud with his home country's government has yielded several hardships for the Celtics' new big man. 

Most recently, Kanter was confronted by two Turkish-speaking men outside a local mosque while he was with teammate Tacko Fall. Kanter called it a "crazy and scary" situation and later contacted the FBI and other law enforcement officials to ensure his safety moving forward. 

On Monday night, Kanter tweeted an overview of everything he and his family have had to endure at the hands of the Turkish government. 

Kanter has the support of Massachusetts State Senator Ed MarkeyCongressman Joe Kennedy III and gave a speech about freedom and human rights and in front of the Massachusetts State Senate. 

So while Kanter claims his home country suppresses free speech, he is free to speak however much he wants while in the United States. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

ESPN ranks the Celtics 15th in their annual NBA League Pass Rankings

ESPN ranks the Celtics 15th in their annual NBA League Pass Rankings

Most basketball junkies have already mapped out which teams they'll try to watch outside of their own on NBA League Pass this season, and ESPN's annual League Pass rankings give us a good reference to make our decisions off of. 

Last season, the Celtics had sky-high expectations after making it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals without Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward. Zach Lowe had them ranked No. 2 behind just the Sixers.

Philly remains at the top spot this year after stealing Al Horford from the Celtics and is a serious contender for the NBA title. The Celtics, after losing Horford, Irving, Terry Rozier, Aron Baynes and Marcus Morris, are considered a tier below their division rival and suffered a steep drop to 15th in this year's League Pass Rankings. 

An excerpt from Lowe's take on this year's Celtics:

Boston drops 13 spots despite replacing a frowny-faced philosopher-point guard (Kyrie Irving) with a rough stylistic equivalent in Kemba Walker -- owner of the league's nastiest in-and-out dribble. The combined departures -- Al Horford's subtle brilliance, Marcus Morris' toughness, Terry Rozier's long 2s, Guerschon Yabusele's ass -- cannot inflict this much damage on Boston's watchability.
...
There is hope Boston can settle into a watchability zone between this ranking and last season's. The chemistry presumably isn't toxic now. Gordon Hayward should be closer to Utah form. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are hungry. One or both could make All-Star pushes; Tatum looks to be attacking the rim more already. His reclining, willowy midrangers are basketball grace notes, analytics be damned.

The Celtics were nearly unwatchable last season as inconsistent play and off-court drama defined the undoing of a masterclass rebuild by Danny Ainge. With a fresh start and a brand new point guard in Kemba Walker, the Celtics should be one of the more fun teams to watch when it's all said and done. 

The main concern for this year's team is on the defensive end of the floor without ample replacements for Horford and Baynes. However, Boston has been the league's top defensive unit in the preseason and earned some praise from Larry Nance Jr

Obviously, it's just preseason and there's only so much you can take from it. If the Celtics can prove to be a top-10 defense to couple with what should be an excellent offensive attack led by Walker and three incredibly talented wings, they'll move up more than just some League Pass Rankings. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.