The Celtics ended their impressive Summer League performance with a snap on Tuesday, falling to the Kings and their stifling 100-67 defense.
Here are the takeaways.
1. After cranking the hype engine to mind-blowing decibels in his first three games, then spinning it again scoring 92 points in a pro-am game in Portland, Payton Pritchard failed. could not defeat Davion Mitchell. The Kings guard – whose nickname is “Off Night” – limited Pritchard to just six points on a 3v9 shot.
Celtics Summer League coach Joe Mazzulla blamed himself for Pritchard’s struggles after several domestic outlets called Pritchard one of the best – if not the best – player in the League to ‘summer.
“I could have put it in better places compared to the blitz to get the right read,” Mazzulla said. âAnd Davion is a great defender. Payton is a great player and these are just two good teams. I think they got the best of us, I don’t think there is much more than that.
2. The story of the game was relatively straightforward: The Kings shot only 3% better than the Celtics, but they made 36 more field goal attempts. They finished with 18 interceptions, while the Celtics returned the ball more than 28 times.
“29, don’t sell us short,” Mazzulla said dryly, probably referring to an internal box score from the official box. listed 28. ââ¦ They had active hands, great ball pressure. I thought that coming into the game we were pretty much the same team when it comes to physique and how they raced in transition. They pretty much beat us at our own game today.
3. Aaron Nesmith struggled again from 3 points – just 2 for 8 – and finished with 12 points. After an initial flurry in which the Celtics climbed to double digits and he buried a nice 3-point pointer, the Kings never let him get comfortable.
âAcross the team, they did a good job of speeding us up,â said Nesmith. âSo as the game went on we were trying to slow down and execute our offense and do the things that we did in the last four games to get to this moment. We haven’t done a very good job of getting back to this.
In the Summer League, however, Nesmith showed intriguing overall flashes even when his shot didn’t fall. He handled the ball efficiently and scored all the way to the edge, which wasn’t really in his arsenal in college.
âThat’s what I’ve been working on all summer: being able to put the ball on the ground when I get knocked off the line,â said Nesmith. âBeing able to have a first, a second and even a third shot sometimes, then when I put the ball on the ground, not to be limited to one decision; being able to read defense and make the next best play.
âSo that’s what I worked on. This is what I will continue to work on when I return to the gym once we land and this is what I will continue next season.
4. The Celtics looked very disappointed, although the Summer League results will soon be forgotten.
“I told them in the locker room after the game, the way they felt after the game shows who they are as people and players,” Mazzulla said. âThey are competitive and they want to be held accountable. “
Nesmith has said his main focus in the Summer League is the championship.
âThat’s why I play the game. I play the game to win,â Nesmith said. âSo obviously we went a long way, we made it to the championship game, but we didn’t reach the goal. …
âIt’s an experience of humility. We played very well the first four games. It kind of blew up the teams, and then come into this game and kind of be on the other end of the story, it hurts, it sucks. It’s just a motivation to go back to the drawing board tomorrow morning and get back to work.
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