Stars, studs and duds: Celtics shooting ‘not so hot'


SALT LAKE CITY – As Brad Stevens and a couple of his assistants left EnergySolutions Arena, they came across a brick paved pathway.

Stevens couldn’t help but jokingly refer to the paved bricks as being well, symbolic of the way the Celtics shot the ball in Tuesday’s 76-62 summer league loss to Philadelphia.

How bad?

Like 3-for-29 from 3-point range bad which not surprisingly was a major factor in Boston’s second summer league loss in as many games.

“Three for (29), that’s not so hot for a whole team,” Stevens said.

The poor shooting does not bode well for a Boston Celtics team that struggled mightily last season from deep range and is hopeful that youngsters like Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter could come in and exceed expectations in terms of knocking down perimeter shots.

On Tuesday, the Celtics’ first round draft picks were a combined 0-for-6 on 3s.

Although the Celtics were middle of the pack in 3s taken last season, they ranked among the league’s worst in terms of 3s made.

Second-year wing James Young is a player that the Celtics are hoping will find a rhythm shooting the ball this summer from 3-point range.

But his shooting were indicative of the entire team as he missed six of his seven attempts.

Despite the shooting numbers, assistant coach Jay Larranaga remains confident that the team has enough quality shot-makers to get the team’s shooting on track.

“I know they’re putting a lot of effort into the defensive end,” said Larranaga who coaches the Celtics summer league team here in Salt Lake City. “Hopefully on Thursday (against San Antonio) we’ll turn it around and the law of averages will be in our favor.”

Despite the loss, there were some positives the Celtics can take going forward.

With that said, here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Tuesday night’s game.


Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia

Boston did a lot of good things in limiting his touches, forcing him to commit almost as many turnovers (4) as field goals made (5). But Okafor wasn’t the third overall pick in last month’s NBA draft for no reason. He has an extremely polished low-post game and is surprisingly comfortable with facing up to the basket and putting it on the floor to get to the rim or backing players down and score in the paint. He was an effective force on the floor, tallying 13 points and nine rebounds.

Terry Rozier, Boston

Rozier is a definite work in progress as far as playing the point guard position, but he showed some good signs against the Sixers. The speed to the basket that Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have talked about was very noticeable on Tuesday, a big key to him scoring a game-high 14 points. But he must continue to make strides as a playmaker because tallying as many assists (two) as turnovers (two) is not what you want from your point guard.


Jerami Grant, Philadelphia

He was about as efficient as you can be, scoring 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting in under 19 minutes of action. And his points came both from deep range (1-for-1 on 3s) as well as drives to the basket which resulted in lay-ups or trips to the free throw line. He also added five rebounds to complete what was a strong performance for a player who is trying to play his way into a meaningful role.

C.J. Fair, Boston

The one thing we know about Fair thus far is, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, the kid ain’t shy about taking shots. He was Boston’s only other double digit scorer besides Rozier, scoring 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting in just under 19 minutes of action. Fair was able to contribute in other ways as well, grabbing six rebounds while tallying three assists and a blocked shot.



There was no mistaking that the Celtics’ inability to make shots was a major factor in Tuesday’s loss. And the most frustrating part of it for most of the players is that most of the shots they had were the kind that they wanted.

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