Celtics look to stay on Vegas Summer League roll


The No. 2 seed Celtics are looking to remain undefeated in the Las Vegas Summer League when they face the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at 10:30 p.m.

Boston (3-0) received a first-round bye while the Blazers (2-2), seeded 15th out of 24 teams, knocked off Minnesota 82-77 on Wednesday.

The two met earlier in Vegas with the Celtics coming away with an 85-76 victoroy, led by Marcus Smart’s 19 points and Jordan Mickey’s double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds to go with three blocked shots.

Former Maine Red Claws standout Tim Frazier, who later signed a multi-year deal with Portland, had a near triple-double when the two met earlier with 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Here’s a look at some of Boston’s key performers heading into the single-elimination tournament style format:

SCORING: R.J. Hunter
While Marcus Smart dominated the scoring in Salt Lake City, the edge in Las Vegas has to go with the much-improved R.J. Hunter.

The 28th overall pick in last month’s NBA draft, Hunter is averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game in Las Vegas, along with 2.7 rebounds.

He is known as a long-range shooter, but Hunter has put the ball on the floor to drive into the lane a lot more than expected. So far, it has worked out for both him and the Celtics.

REBOUNDING: Jordan Mickey
The 6-foot-8 forward has played big throughout the summer, courtesy of good instincts for the ball, a tough demeanor and a desire to make an impact. The second-round pick by Boston leads the team in rebounds per game (10.7), which ranks second among all players in the Vegas Summer League.

ASSISTS: Terry Rozier
One of the knocks on Terry Rozier was his playmaking might be weak relative to the rest of his game. But the 6-foot-1 guard has shown himself to be a quick study, leading the Celtics with five assists per game and doing so while turning the ball over 1.7 times per game.

LEADERSHIP: Marcus Smart
Without question this summer league team goes as far as Smart will drive them to go. He has been solid the past couple of games, but seems to be open to allowing his teammates more time to thrive without his shadow as a player lurking by.

Still, the bottom line is Smart can play and so far, he has looked really good both in terms of his play and leading this team away from the court, too.


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