The Boston Celtics escaped their preseason opener with a thrilling 98-97 victory over the visiting Orland Magic on Monday night.
Powered by a big fourth quarter from Aaron Nesmith, the Cs were able to overcome a five-point deficit to start the final frame, capping it off with a Romeo Langford game-winning 3-point shot.
All in all, it was an exciting win in a game that doesn’t count for anything. However, as all preseason games are, this is an opportunity to evaluate the players and to see who is deserving of a bigger role.
For me, there was a clear-cut player who set himself apart. In my opinion, he may have even leapfrogged some guys that were getting minutes in front of him, and potentially made a case for a starting spot.
Aaron Nesmith showcased why he may be deserving of a starting gig.
Now don’t get me wrong, it was not the greatest of starts for Nesmith in this game. The second-year guard had a quick early stint where he did not contribute much.
After a few minutes late in the first quarter, Nesmith quickly found himself back on the bench.
After not seeing the 2020 lottery selection for the Boston Celtics get back into the action until early in the fourth quarter, I was even questioning his performance and if he had done something wrong.
Here he is a player who was expected to take the next step and be an integral part of the rotation, getting benched in a preseason game.
Turns out, the Boston Celtics were just saving him for that fourth quarter.
During the final frame, Nesmith showcased everything we hoped to see from him coming into this season. He finished with ten points, eight of which came in the fourth. When he’s out there, he is very active, with high energy that enables him to fly around the court and make plays.
That high energy, mixed with his ability to score at all three levels, is a recipe for success.
The fourth quarter this past Monday night proved that Nesmith is deserving of a bigger role. One thing that plagued last year’s Cs team was getting off to slow starts.
Numerous times in games, they found themselves facing an early double-digit deficit.
Nesmith’s energy and effort will be infectious in the starting lineup. Insert him into this role and the slow starts that have hurt the Boston Celtics over the years will be minimized.
There are three preseason games left, which gives the team the ability to start Nesmith and see what he can do before the real season begins.
It’s time to give Nesmith the opportunity that he has earned.