NBA Summer League

Watch: Rookie Jordan Walsh shines in Celtics Summer League debut

Walsh made a strong first impression in his first game in a Celtics uniform.

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We've heard plenty about Jordan Walsh's defensive upside, but can the Arkansas product be effective enough on the offensive end to carve out an NBA role?

The Boston Celtics rookie made a strong initial case for himself Saturday in Las Vegas.

Walsh scored a team-high 18 points in Boston's first 2023 NBA Summer League game against the Miami Heat at the Cox Pavilion, going 6 for 11 from the floor while hitting 4 of 6 3-pointers. While the Celtics lost 99-88, it was an encouraging debut from Walsh, who also added five rebounds, a pair of steals and a block in 31 minutes of playing time.

Walsh averaged just 7.1 points per game at Arkansas last season while shooting 27.8 percent from 3-point range, so the Heat unsurprisingly left him unchecked at the 3-point line on several occasions. But Boston's second-round pick (38th overall) made Miami pay by hitting multiple threes early in the first half.

"I feel like (my teammates) believing in me and giving me that opportunity and telling me to shoot it, that’s the biggest part," Walsh said after the game, via The Boston Globe. "Because that builds confidence in me and that builds confidence in the team for sure."

The 6-foot-7 wing also showed off his athleticism in the second half by throwing down a lob from J.D. Davison, who notched a double-double with 14 points and a team-high 11 assists.

Walsh likely will begin the season buried on Boston's depth chart behind Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Sam Hauser, but the Celtics signed him to a four-year, $7.6 million contract for a reason. If Walsh can continue to contribute offensively while living up to his defensive hype, that'd be a terrific development for Boston.

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