LAS VEGAS – Winning is always the goal when it comes to playing in the NBA, but Summer League results are more about making progress than making game-winning shots.
The Celtics lost 82-69 to the Denver Nuggets, but there were indeed some positives they could take away from the experience.
Here are three takeaways from Boston’s matchup against the Nuggets.
For the second time in as many nights, Jabari Bird showcased what we’ve seen in spurts – athleticism and tremendous versatility. In addition to defending multiple positions, Bird’s ability to score attacking the rim from various points including some highlight-quality above-the-rim plays, speaks to the promise that the Celtics are hoping to tap into this season. For the game, Bird finished with 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting along with three rebounds and an assist.
Whether it’s the summer league version of the Celtics or the ones we’ll see in the regular season, this team will have nights when the 3-point shot won’t fall. That’s exactly what we saw on Saturday as the Celtics opened by missing 13 of their first 14 three-point attempts. The struggles didn’t let up as time went on, with the Celtics finishing a dismal 22.2 percent (4-for-18) shooting from 3-point range.
The Celtics had too many empty possessions where they didn’t get back quick enough on defense. And to the Nuggets credit, they made the Celtics pay for this most of the time. The Nuggets would finish the game with 16 fast-break points compared to just six for Boston.