Mar 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange center Fab Melo (51) shoots a free throw against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the first half of the semifinals of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Early Observations From The First Two Celtics Summer League Games

Mar 17, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Kris Joseph (32) drives the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats during the first half in the third round of the 2012 NCAA men

After watching the first two games of the summer league, I have been surprised in more ways than one. Before I even get into the individual talent that has been showcased so far, I am really impressed with how this team looks. Now you may be asking, what do you mean? In my 5 years of watching the summer league, I have never seen a group quite like this one.

Most of the players on this team could have a legitimate shot at making the roster. Usually you have about 2 or 3 standouts, but every player on this team has contributed and quite frankly they all have the skills to play in the NBA.

Dionte Christmas and Jonathan Gibson have impressed me the most. In Game 2, Gibson literally won the game for the Celtics. He finished with 17 points to lead all scorers, and he only played 14 minutes in the game. He consistently knocked down the outside shot, and once he got hot, no one was stopping him. Gibson also brings a lot of energy on the defensive end, but at times plays too aggressive. I’m not sure if he’ll make the team, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else picks him up.

Dionte Christmas has been a pleasant surprise. In his first game he had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. For a 6’5″ shooting guard, thats not seen that often. Christmas hustles, runs the floor extremely well, can slash to the basket, and hit the perimeter jump shot. Seeing that the Celtics may be in need of a backup shooting guard or point guard, either Christmas or Gibson could be a cheap pickup if the Celtics can’t find a decent veteran in free agency.

Celtics Draft Picks Show Confidence

Sullinger, Melo, and Joseph all possess something that I haven’t seen from some rookies we’ve acquired in the previous seasons. They all have confidence, and they look very comfortable on the court. I know it’s only summer league, but sometimes rookies tend to play out of control because they are trying to prove that they can play. That hasn’t been the case this year. While they have made mistakes, they were just the typical rookie errors.

Out of the three, Sullinger and Joseph have impressed me the most. Sullinger in his first game scored 20 points and had 6 rebounds, and Joseph has played consistently throughout the first two games of the summer league. I had heard that Joseph was a good prospect, but I was really surprised at how polished his game is. He’s got good, strong moves to the basket, and he has a nice 15 to 20 foot jump shot. Hopefully, Paul Pierce is willing to teach him, because I think if taught right, Joseph could be a great backup small forward.

Today the Celtics take on the the Indiana Pacers at 11am and the game can be seen on NBATV. So far, in the first two games, there have been a few surprises. Who is the next player to have an impressive showing in game 3?


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Tags: Celtics Summer League Dionte Christmas Fab Melo Jared Sullinger Jonathan Gibson Kris Joseph

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