When his second miss finally clanged off the rim, a shirtless Aaron Nesmith flexed and let out a primal scream, startling those on the surrounding practice courts. Boston Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla came rushing in for a celebratory body bump.
Nesmith bested Jayson Tatum’s practice record on Monday by making 244 3-pointers without missing two in a row.
Nesmith reveled for a minute then sought out Tatum across the gym to personally inform him of the accomplishment. Then he made the proud march to a whiteboard behind the scorer’s table at the team’s practice facility and further cemented the feat.
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From the media’s vantage point high above the practice court, it seemed like Nesmith rarely missed even one 3-pointer during the post-practice session. The net seemed under attack as Nesmith circled the perimeter. Not since the days of Ray Allen have we seen a shirtless shooter scorching the twine like that.
Nesmith, who made a strong case for a rotation role with his play in the preseason, admitted his confidence is sky high at the moment. And he’s eager to establish a role early in his sophomore season.
“[My goal is] to carve out a very good role for myself. Therefore every single game I know when I’m getting in or where my shots are going to be from, how I can help the team,” said Nesmith. "Figuring that out extremely early and then just continue to improve, and continuing to show everything that I’ve worked on and gotten better at.”
Nesmith shot 37 percent from beyond the arc in his rookie season. He carved out a late-season role and played hefty minutes through the postseason. He’s expanded his offensive toolbox during summer league and Boston’s four-game preseason slate.
If Al Horford is sidelined to start the year, Nesmith could slot as a shooting wing in Boston’s starting five, or provide an offensive burst off the bench.