J.R. Giddens wants to show the Celtics just how important he can be. As the team rebuilds its bench this summer, he is eager to capitalize on this opportunity.
This week he will make his case when the Celtics participate in the Orlando Summer League.
‘I just want to go out to Summer League and show the Celtics that I have an all-around approach to the game,’ Giddens said in a telephone interview. ‘I can defend and rebound and I can score. I can bring a lot of different things to the table, and I feel like it’d be beneficial for them if I can show them I can help them win ball games.’
Giddens, 24, understands the importance of a strong performance in Orlando as he looks ahead to his second season.
The 6-5 guard from New Mexico was drafted by the Celtics with the final pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. He experienced life as a rookie on a championship team, which meant stints in the D-League and more watching than playing. He recorded just eight minutes for the Cs.
Giddens has dedicated this summer to improving his game and continuing to adapt to the NBA. He has hit the gym every day for lifting and conditioning. The coaching staff, he says, has been pleased with this work ethic.
‘[I’ve been] working on my ball handling and my free throw shooting and just trying to extend my range and get used to that three-point line because it’s a lot deeper in the NBA than it is in college,’ Giddens said. ‘So just doing the little things that I need to tighten up on my game.’
Playing time is up for grabs next season and it’s not just reserved for free agent signings. There is basically one spot to fight for between Giddens and fellow sophomore Bill Walker. Giddens wants to be prepared if he gets the nod.
‘There’s a lot of opportunities and you have to realize basketball is a business,’ he said. ‘ A lot of changes are going to be made and you just have to be ready when your name’s called in any situation.’
The Celtics will kick off Summer League action on Monday against the Utah Jazz. Click here for a complete schedule and roster.