The Celtics went into the 2015 Draft hoping to be active and making trades, but nothing came to fruition and they simply made their picks. Sometimes the trades that don't happen are the best thing for the team, and with the play of Boston's draft picks in Summer League to date, Danny Ainge has to be happy with the picks they made. Last night against the Blazers, it was Terry Rozier and Jordan Mickey who led the way, each of them providing strong production and also playing smart basketball. Terry Rozier scored the final eight points for the Celtics, and he finished with 19 points overall. Rozier only had one assist, but he also turned the ball over only once, which has been the trend with him throughout the summer. Mickey finished the night with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and one blocked shot.
Portland did a good job keeping the game close, and they shot 47% from the field to Boston's 38% on the same number of shots (73), but Boston did a better job of going to the basket and drawing fouls. The Celtics hit 24-28 free throws, an impressive number in summer league, where they usually let the guys get physical. Portland only took 13 free throws, and although they did hit ten of them, Boston was able to make up 14 points at the line. The other thing that helped Boston earn the win was protecting the ball; they finished the night with eight turnovers while Portland committed 14. Boston also had seven steals on the night, and Portland finished with three. Some nights, shooting better doesn't get the job done because the other team does the little things better, and that is what happened to Portland in their loss to Boston.
The Celtics will play the San Antonio Spurs at 4 PM ET on Saturday afternoon in the Las Vegas League Quarterfinals. Marcus Smart, who dislocated two fingers but did not suffer a break, won't be available Saturday and will be shut down for the remainder of the summer. He should be ready to go come training camp. If Boston is able to win a fifth straight game in Vegas (6th overall) they'll play the winner of the Dallas/Atlanta game today. The semifinal game will be played tomorrow.
Statistics Provided by NBA.com/SummerLeague