Celtics 79, Bulls 74 in a game that will soon be forgotten – if it hasn’t been already. BUT there were some interesting takeaways from this Vegas Summer League game. Jared Sullinger yanked down 14 rebounds, and he continues to gain confidence and get a better feel for what’s going on at this level of basketball. Sullinger also looked hungry on the court – he repeatedly battled for the basketball, and he looked like a man who wants to play a significant role this upcoming season. It was a welcome site to see.
Sullinger wasn’t the only man in his comfort zone. E’Twuan Moore poured in 25 points and continues to look like a solid part of the Celtics’ plans. The more I watch Moore, the more I find myself liking what he brings to the table. It’s not brilliant by any stretch, but it’s economical and very much a solid effort. You can say this for him – the man plays smart. Gotta give him credit in that regard. He just seems to make plays that keeps his team in rhythm, and there’s something to be said for that. Especially with Avery Bradley starting the season on injured reserve.
Kris Joseph hyper-extended his left knee, leaving with the injury and not returning. Hopefully it’s nothing major and only a scare. Here’s also hoping that Joseph has proven himself to the coaching staff, because we need Joseph in training camp this fall. He’s too good to let slip away to another team.
Dionte Christmas and Jamar Smith played well. I certainly didn’t see Christmas coming this year – pun intended – but have been pleasantly surprised by what he’s done running the team. Smith looked good tonight in stretches, and may have locked in an invite to camp this fall.
JaJuan Johnson was active and involved, a far cry from the Vegas opener against the Hawks. That’s great news, but also concerning. Johnson is still wildly inconsistent – engaged one game, passive the next. And this against scrub competition. Johnson will need to increase the sense of urgency if he’s going to convince the coaching staff that he’s for real. Right now they desperately want to trust him and believe that he’s arrived, while in fact he still has a long way to go.
Moore, on the other hand, has turned out to be the Celtics’ summer star.