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Marcus Smart is the Leonardo of NBA rookies 08.05.14 at 11:21 am ET
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If nothing else, the Celtics appear to have the league’s most likable rookie in Marcus Smart. (Unless, of course, you’re a Texas Tech fan.) He conducted a scavenger hunt for SportsNation during the NBA’s Rookie Photo Shoot, and the results are fairly hilarious. Let’s take a moment to appreciate a few of the highlights.

  • The pantsing of Oklahoma State teammate Markel Brown wasn’t bad, although that’s old hat to Celtics fans, since Ron Artest once pantsed Paul Pierce during a game.
  • I just like the idea of eating snacks with Shabazz Napier. That should be its own show.
  • Smart held his own in that arm wrestling contest with Mitch McGary for a bit.
  • The forehead alley-oop to James Young proves Smart is already learning from Rajon Rondo.
  • If I’m breaking down the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles powwow, Smart is Leonardo, since he’s leading this entire operation, Adreian Payne is Donatello (does machines), Gary Harris is Raphael (cool but crude) and Cleanthony Early is Michaelangelo (party dude). This isn’t up for debate.
Read More: Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart, NBA,
Irish Coffee: James Young’s love of cheeseburgers, other things we learned from Celtics rookie photo shoot 08.04.14 at 11:07 am ET
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New Celtics Marcus Smart and James Young participated in the NBA’s rookie photo shoot over the weekend and neither of them collapsed into a folding chair a la Fab Melo, so there’s hope for them yet.

Once you’ve digested the photos above courtesy of the league’s various social media channels, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Smart and Young’s contributions to the rookie class AMA on Reddit.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, James Young, Marcus Smart, NBA
Celtics drop Orlando Summer League finale to Pacers 07.11.14 at 12:14 pm ET
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Despite the efforts of Celtics summer league standouts Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart, the Pacers rode an 11-0 run down the stretch to capture the fourth-place game in Orlando, 95-86.

Olynyk and Smart led the C’s scoring effort with 20 and 19 points, respectively, despite shooting a combined 13-of-37 from the field. Entering the game making just 28.0 percent of his field goal attempts (19.2 3P%), Smart finished 6-of-18 in the loss, but converted 4-of-9 3-pointers in an encouraging effort.

Phil Pressey (12 points, 13 assists), Mike Moser (16 points, 10 rebounds) and O.D. Anosike (13 points, 10 rebounds) added double-doubles in defeat. Chris Johnson and Chris Babb finished a combined 1-for-11.

Donald Sloan led Indiana with 20 points and 10 assists, helping the Pacers transform an 82-81 edge into a commanding 93-81 lead.

The Celtics finished 3-2 in the Orlando Summer League.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart shows promise in another summer league victory 07.10.14 at 7:52 pm ET
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The Celtics improved their record to 3-1 in the Orlando Summer League with a 76-67 victory over the Magic on Thursday evening.

Boston got the win without its top scorer, Kelly Olynyk, who took the day to rest. Other lineup changes included shifting Phil Pressey to the bench, which meant No. 6 overall pick Marcus Smart received his first start at point guard.

The rookie responded fairly well, putting up a game-high 19 points, but his shooting struggles continued. While Smart shot 5-for-14 from the field overall (7-for-8 at the free throw line), 3-point shooting was his downfall.

The Oklahoma State product was just 2-for-9 from downtown (the two baskets came on back-to-back possessions late in the game while it was tight). Clearly, shooting is still an area that Smart needs to improve — although he did convert on 3-of-5 attempts inside the arc, something he should look to do more.

Smart finished with five assists, three rebounds and a steal to go with his 19 points in 30 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, the transition to coming off the bench was not kind to Pressey. He shot an atrocious 1-for-15 on field goals, only converting  an early layup. Nothing would go down all game for the crafty point guard. Pressey totaled just five points along with five boards and three helpers. It will be interesting to see how coach Jay Larranaga chooses to use Pressey next game.

Chris Johnson (12 points), Mike Moser (12 points), Colton Iverson (10 points) and Edwin Jackson (10 points) joined Smart as the Celtics players to score in double figures in the game.

The Magic were led by Seth Curry, who scored 15 points off the bench on a barrage of 3-pointers. While Victor Oladipo rested, all eyes were on Orlando’s rookies to carry the team.

Aaron Gordon scored seven points while collecting eight rebounds, but it was Elfrid Payton who was the better rookie on this day. Payton flirted with a triple-double, going for a Rondo-esque eight points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

The Celtics will play in the third-place game on Friday morning at 10 a.m. They will face either the Pistons or Grizzlies (determined by late Thursday night games). It will be Boston’s final game in Orlando before heading west for the Las Vegas Summer League.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow 

Read More: Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart, NBA,
Celtics G Dairis Bertans expected to be OK after hitting head in summer league game at 11:01 am ET
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Celtics guard Dairis Bertans was expected to be OK after having a CT scan following a head-on collision with the stanchion under the basket during Wednesday’s summer league game in Orlando.

Bertans was on a fast break late in the third quarter of the Celtics‘ 92-90 win over the Pistons when he was fouled by one player, hit on the back of the head by another, and knocked into the padded basket support. He gave a thumbs-up after being strapped to a stretcher and taken to the hospital for tests.

“It looked bad. Especially from my angle I knew it was bad,” teammate Marcus Smart said. “He tried to catch himself but it was a little too late for him. They said he’s going to be all right, though. He had a little neck pain, we just didn’t want to take a risk with those. He’s going to be all right, and we’re just going to pray for him.”

The 24-year-old Latvian shooting guard was having a good game, hitting 3-of-5 shots, including a 3-pointer.

“It was sad to see him get hurt because he was playing so well,” teammate Phil Pressey said. “He’s been playing so well this whole summer league. Prayers to him.”

As for the game, the Cetlics closed out the third quarter on a 20-7 run and then held off the Pistons, who closed the game on an 11-3 run over the final two minutes. Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored a game-high 26 points, missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Kelly Olynyk led a balanced Boston attack with 16 points and nine rebounds. Smart had 14 points (albeit on 4-of-13 shooting, including 2-of-7 from behind the arc), six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Backcourt mate Phil Pressey also scored 14 points, on 6-of-10 shooting.

The Celtics play the Magic on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Read More: Dairis Bertans, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey
Terrible turnaround: C’s up big early, lose bigger to Pacers, James Young sits out again 07.07.14 at 9:27 pm ET
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A great start turned into a big learning experience for the young Celtics in a Summer League lesson handed out by the Pacers Monday in Orlando.

The Green went up by 18 points early against the Pacers in their second game of Summer League action on Monday. Then they got absolutely throttled by Indiana. Boston ended up losing the game by 19 points, 96-77.

The 37-point turnaround was as ugly as it sounds. The Celtics shot a mere 34.3 percent (24-for-70) from the field, and only 25.9 percent (7-for-27) from beyond the arc.

Basketball is a game of runs. The Celtics never responded to the Pacers’€™ run, which seemingly lasted three quarters.

‘€œThat response has to happen on the defensive end of the court,’€ Summer League head coach Jay Larranaga told reporters. ‘€œWe were late on everything and we fouled too much.’€

Kelly Olynyk led the team in scoring for the second straight game with 15 points (5-for-13 shooting) to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Meanwhile, Marcus Smart ‘€“ the No. 6 overall pick in the draft ‘€“ had another shaky game. Smart shot just 3-for-15 from the field, finishing with 11 points in 27 minutes.

Shooting remains a huge concern for Smart. But he was also unable to fill out the stat sheet like he did on Saturday against the Heat. Smart only had three boards, four assists and a steal to follow-up his debut.

Smart looked lost at times, settling for bad shots while looking less energetic on the defensive side of the ball (although, the same can be said about the entire team during the last three quarters).

James Young sat out yet again with a neck injury from a June car accident. His status is still up in the air as to whether or not he will play in Summer League.

Willie Reed led the way for the Pacers. He scored 18 points (8-for-12) while adding six rebounds, three assists and blocking four shots. It’€™s just Summer League, but if Willie Reed is drawing comparisons to Willis Reed, it’€™s not a good thing.

The Celtics will look to bounce back on Wednesday against the Pistons at 7 P.M.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow

Read More: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, James Young, Kelly Olynyk
Marcus Smart struggles from field as Celtics open summer league action with win over Heat 07.05.14 at 2:49 pm ET
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The Celtics kicked off summer league play with an 85-77 victory over the Heat on Saturday in Orlando.

The game featured 22 lead changes and 12 ties before a 25-13 Boston run to close out the contest helped the Celtics seal the victory.

Kelly Olynyk led the Celtics with 20 points (8-of-17 shooting) and eight rebounds while forward Mike Moser contributed 17 points (6-of-11) in 24 minutes off the bench.

Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart struggled from the field (2-of-8), but made his presence felt across the stat sheet, finishing the day with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and five steals.

Phil Pressey was solid as the team’€™s starting point guard, scoring nine points (3-of-9) while dishing out seven assists. Pressey also impressed many with a nasty crossover move on Miami rookie point guard Shabazz Napier.

Forward James Ennis led the Heat with 17 points (5-of-11) and eight boards. It was a rough debut for Napier, who scored 12 points but off a horrible 20 percent shooting percentage from the field (3-of-15) while recording just two assists and eight turnovers.

Celtics rookie guard James Young, taken with the 17th overall pick of the 2014 draft, did not play in Saturday’€™s game for precautionary reasons after injuring his neck in a car accident a few weeks ago.

Boston’€™s next summer league matchup will be on Monday, when the Celtics take on the Pacers.

Read More: Celtics, Heat, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart
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