Celtics second-year guard Marcus Smart led the way for Boston by doing a little bit of everything against the Utah Jazz last night. Smart scored 26 points, had 8 assists and 3 rebounds. His tenacious defense led to 2 steals, and Marcus was playing with the same intensity we saw back in April against Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. Diving for loose balls, hustling up the floor, and taking the ball to the hoop, Smart hasn't lost a step and will be using Summer League play as a chance to improve his game.
Smart's back up point guard and first round pick, Terry Rozier played well defensively and showcased his rebounding last night. In 29 minutes, the 6'1 guard pulled down 5 rebounds and had 2 steals to go with his 7 points. Rozier also showed that speed and athleticism that the Celtics organization has been raving about since draft night.
Second year swing-man, James Young was in the starting lineup at small forward and showed it may take some time for him to get used to that small forward position but looked good physically, in his new frame. Young, who has added an extra 20 pounds to his body in the last two months, believes that it will make him a more versatile scorer. He was much more aggressive offensively by taking the ball to the hoop and not resorting to the 3-ball shot that we're accustomed to seeing him take. Although he did take five 3-point shots (1-5), Young finished with 12 points in 30 minutes. Taking the ball to the hoop also got him to the free throw line a couple of times, where he went 3-for-4.
Celtics' other first round-pick, R.J. Hunter had a rough night. Hunter, who came off the bench, played 20 minutes and missed all five of his field goal attempts. Not known for defensive abilities, he did have 3 steals but looked very uncomfortable offensively.
Second round pick, Jordan Mickey was in the starting lineup at center and made a good first impression. The LSU forward/center went 7-for-8 from the field, and was the Celtics' second leading scorer behind Smart, he scored 16 points. Mickey, who led the NCAA in blocked shots last season, also added 3 blocks to his stat line last night against the Jazz.
Utah's offense carried over to the second half after they outscored the Celtics 31-15 in the second quarter. Second year guard Dante Exum scored 12 points throughout that stretch, and ended the night with 20 points. Utah's other second-year guard Rodney Hood also chipped in offensively, scoring a team-high 23 points.
Celtics' Summer League schedule continues tonight at Utah when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers.