The Boston Celtics cruised to a 94-73 victory over the Orlando Magic to conclude their stay in the Orlando Pro Summer League Friday morning. With Jared Sullinger given the day off to rest, Dionte Christmas exploded for 19 points in the first half, while E’Twaun Moore impressed once again, chipping in 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely, however, Moore and rookie Kris Joseph suffered hip flexor injuries during the game. Joseph started, but did not play in the final three quarters of the game. He played only eight minutes, missing all three of his shots, including an airball and an ugly turnover, in his first pedestrian effort of the summer. Via Blakely:
The Celtics will now travel to Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League, where they open play Monday against the Atlanta Hawks. Here are some observations from Friday’s game:
- Fab Melo recorded 10 rebounds in just 23 minutes of play. In his final season at Syracuse, he reached double figures in rebounds ONCE. Melo has exceeded my meager expectations with his play thus far, though it’s clear he still has a long way to go to become a viable NBA player. In the first half, Melo attempted an 18-footer which nearly killed a baby in the first row (or so it seemed). In the fourth quarter, Melo posted up along the baseline and, after a spin move, shot the ball off the side of the backboard. Melo did keep after the play and end up scoring on a nice move into the middle of the lane, but both plays showed how raw he is offensively.
- E’Twaun Moore continued his strong campaign for a spot on the Celtics Opening Day roster. Danny Ainge has until the end of summer league to decide whether or not to guarantee the second year of Moore’s rookie deal. What has been most impressive about Moore is his patience, his calm on the offensive end. Moore is still learning how to play the point guard position, yet he always plays at his own pace, never rushes to his spots on the floor. For instance, in the first half, Moore attacked the defense in transition on a 3-on-2 fast break, driving into the defense just deep enough so they collapsed on him as he passed out to Christmas for a wide open three-pointer. Moore’s pace of play– not his skill level, let me be clear– reminds me of Sam Cassell. He is confident in his outside shooting and works to get to his hot spots.
- Aside from a thunderous put-back dunk late in the contest, Sean Williams didn’t do much to convince Ainge to guarantee HIS roster spot. Williams played 21 minutes, but recorded just six points and four rebounds in an underwhelming performance. Williams’ athleticism is undeniable, but the more I watch him play, the more it seems it’s his only redeeming attribute.