Celtics SL and other Orlando/Vegas happenings 2014

HomeRunBaker

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Grin&MartyBarret said:
Is Vitor, perhaps, playing for Brazil this summer? I did a quick search and couldn't find anything one way or another.
Still out recovering from his meniscus surgery from March. They must have found more damage than initially reported for him to still not be cleared nearly 4 months later.

http://www.thescore.com/nba/news/510601
 

ALiveH

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Cleveland Milwaukee play each other next Friday in Vegas.  I'll be there.  Parker v Wiggins.  Very tempted to get courtside seats for $200.  Gets you a whole day.  Can watch up to 4 games.
 

luckiestman

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I'll be very interested to see how Olynyk looks physically. I'm looking for Smart, Pressey and Olynyk to dominate at this level
 

TheDeuce222

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Game is on CSNNE this morning. Olynyk looks like he has bulked up a bit, and clearly look like the best player on the floor so far with 6 points and 2 steals already.
 

Brickowski

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Not a particularly well played game by either team, but i'm guessing that the inconsistent officiating made it hard for players to get into a rhythm.
 
Nice 2nd half from Smart, who made several game winning plays near the end.  Also, it looked to me as if Mike Moser, who was once a highly rated prospect but then fell out of favor after some injuries, has bulked up and may have an NBA future.
 

EL Jeffe

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K.O. was easily the best player on the floor, as he should have been. I'm glad to see he's worked on his body, and it showed with some rebounds in traffic. Next offseason, he needs to work on his left hand, because he was putrid when going to his left (and trying to finish with his right).
 
Smart had a rough first half, but settled in with a nice second half. He did everything he was supposed to; a lot of steals/deflections, rebounded well, made good decisions with the ball, and made a couple of open mid-range shots.
 
No James Young, as expected.
 

scottyno

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Not sure if this thread is for non celtics summer league as well, but Pierre Jackson tore his acl in the sixers first game.  They're really taking this tanking thing seriously.
 

Brickowski

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
How does one make "several game winning plays"?
The game was close.  In the last few minutes he hit a jumper to put the C's up by 5.  Made two free throws.  Had a key steal. Those plays were important.
 
No, he did not make a huge single game winning play, like a buzzer beater.  Just plays that helped turn a  game that was tied with 3-4 minutes left into an 8 point win. 
 
Pressey and Johnson won jump balls against taller opponents.  Those were important plays also.
 

bowiac

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Marcus Smart should basically not be doing anything but taking threes in his free time. I'm a crazy person, but I think he's a 33% three point shot away from being one of the best PGs in the NBA.
 

Cellar-Door

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bowiac said:
Marcus Smart should basically not be doing anything but taking threes in his free time. I'm a crazy person, but I think he's a 33% three point shot away from being one of the best PGs in the NBA.
I disagree with this.
Marcus Smart should be spending his time working on scoring from 5-16 feet. He's going to be a driver, he needs to be able to make baskets when he can't get all the way to the rim.
 

bowiac

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Cellar-Door said:
I disagree with this.
Marcus Smart should be spending his time working on scoring from 5-16 feet. He's going to be a driver, he needs to be able to make baskets when he can't get all the way to the rim.
I have a preference for perimeter shooting because of the spacing benefits it conveys. Although shooting 5-16 feet may be more helpful for Smart's point total, I suspect (with some evidence to support me) that there are outsized benefits to three point shooting in terms of making your teammates more effective. These benefits are not as clearly felt with the midrange game, as it doesn't draw the help defense as far out of position.
 
This can rephrased as the Ricky Rubio vs. Rajon Rondo debate. I actually think Rubio is a pretty good, maybe great player, because he's so strong defensively, and his three point shooting is just strong enough when combined with his passing for him to be an asset offensively. I prefer Rubio to Rondo, in spite of Rondo's superior box score stats. I appreciate this may be viewed as a bizarre POV however.
 
Of course, I'm also hopeful that Smart's finishing around the rim will be better than Rubio's (.477 at the rim - by far the worst number I've seen)...
 

JakeRae

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Smart needs to work on his basic shooting mechanics. Whether that will best happen by working on his mid-range game or his three-point game is beyond my knowledge level, but that it is mechanics and not a particular shot that he needs to work on is obvious. It's important to remember the Smart's shooting development does not all need to happen this summer. If developing his mid-range game helps iron out his mechanics, that will lead to better three-point shooting. That probably goes in both directions. Basically, the debate over which shot is missing the point which is what elements of his shot need work. The biggest one, in my opinion, are issues related to squaring up/staying square throughout the shot.
 

radsoxfan

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bowiac said:
Marcus Smart should basically not be doing anything but taking threes in his free time. I'm a crazy person, but I think he's a 33% three point shot away from being one of the best PGs in the NBA.
 
Out of curiosity, what % NBA 3 point shooter do you think Smart is right now?  High 20's? Mid 20's? Low 20's?  
 
I can only assume you think Smart is REALLY good overall as a player right now, if all it will take is a 5-10% 3 PT shooting % bump to become one of the best PGs in the league.  
 
A small 3 point shooting bump would be nice (and help with floor spacing a bit), but thats a pretty minor thing in the grand scheme of things. 
 

Brickowski

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JakeRae said:
Smart needs to work on his basic shooting mechanics. 
From what I've seen, yes and no.  When he shoots off the dribble, his mechanics look decent.  Strangely, his form is better when he's moving to his left.  Don't ask me why.  His free throw form look ok.
 
When he spots up from long range his upper body mechanics definitely need work.  He starts his shot with his ball down near his waist and then brings it up over his head.  Too much wasted motion.  As you note, he also needs to stay square.  IMHO he should work on his corner 3's first. That's the shortest trey and the easiest one to replicate shot after shot.
 
Who was that shooting coach that Rondo hired a few Summers ago? The guy didn't work miracles, but he turned Rondo from being a bad shooter into a mediocre one.  It's too bad that Ron Adams and Kevin Eastman have gone elsewhere, because both of them are pretty well respected when it comes to coaching shooting skills.
 

bowiac

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radsoxfan said:
Out of curiosity, what % NBA 3 point shooter do you think Smart is right now?  High 20's? Mid 20's? Low 20's?  
 
I can only assume you think Smart is REALLY good overall as a player right now, if all it will take is a 5-10% 3 PT shooting % bump to become one of the best PGs in the league.  
 
A small 3 point shooting bump would be nice (and help with floor spacing a bit), but thats a pretty minor thing in the grand scheme of things. 
He was a .295 guy in college, I'd randomly peg him at like a .250 guy in the NBA?
 
I do think Smart is going to be a really good player other than his perimeter shooting (though probably not as a rookie). I think he's going to show up on all the box score numbers as a really strong player. However, without being a 3 point threat, I think it's tough to be an impact player as a guard/wing in the NBA today. There are no PGs I like who don't have a 3 point shot. There are only a couple SGs I like without one. I think it's a really big deal in today's NBA.
 
My "thesis" about three point shooting is that there's a threshold point that's really important. Going from being a 10% 3PT guy to a 20% guy isn't super important. You can still be safely ignored out there, and should never take them. Going from a 20% guy to a 30% guy is similar. Going from a 37 % guy to a 42% guy is a big deal, since you become more efficient, and probably take a much higher volume as result. However, I suspect that there's a point between 30 and 37% (it's hard to tell where, since 3PT% reflects guarded 3s and unguarded 3s) where you become a perimeter threat, and that's the single most important part of three point shooting. 
 
Basically, I'm looking for the point where you start to show up on scouting reports as a guy who you can't sag off on. I think Smart is probably below that point now, but you could plausibly get there. If he does, I think the rest of his skillset will really shine.
 

swingin val

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bowiac said:
However, without being a 3 point threat, I think it's tough to be an impact player as a guard/wing in the NBA today. There are no PGs I like who don't have a 3 point shot. There are only a couple SGs I like without one. I think it's a really big deal in today's NBA.
Russel Westbrook shoots 30%. Derrick Rose shoots 31%. John Wall is 31%. Kemba Walker is 32%. Tony Parker is 32%.

Those guys are arguably all top 10 point guards in the NBA and they struggle to shoot the three, yet they all succeed for various reasons, whether it be athleticism, defense, quickness, creativity, etc. I am not sure a PG needs to be a 37% plus shooter to succeed.
 

bowiac

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swingin val said:
Russel Westbrook shoots 30%. Derrick Rose shoots 31%. John Wall is 31%. Kemba Walker is 32%. Tony Parker is 32%.

Those guys are arguably all top 10 point guards in the NBA and they struggle to shoot the three, yet they all succeed for various reasons, whether it be athleticism, defense, quickness, creativity, etc. I am not sure a PG needs to be a 37% plus shooter to succeed.
You're giving me career rates for a bunch of guys who couldn't shoot the three their first couple years in the league. A lot of those guys I don't think were good as rookies/sophomores. And they all meet my theoretical threshold. 
 
Westbrook has been between .316 and .330. Rose between .312 and .340. Wall shot .351 this year, and I don't think he was good before this year. I'm still not sure Kemba Walker is good at all, but regardless, he's up to .333 (who thinks he's a top 10 guard???). Parker is obviously great, but as you note, he's at .316.
 
The threshold I talked about was "between 30 and 37%", where all of these guys are. They're on the low end (other than Wall, who I really don't think was good before this year). That's also why I set a pretty low target for Smart (.33%), not .370 or something. You don't need to be Damian Lillard or something - just a credible three point threat.
 

radsoxfan

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bowiac said:
 
The threshold I talked about was "between 30 and 37%", where all of these guys are. They're on the low end (other than Wall, who I really don't think was good before this year). That's also why I set a pretty low target for Smart (.33%), not .370 or something. You don't need to be Damian Lillard or something - just a credible three point threat.
 
I buy your non-linearity argument for the importance of 3 point shooting, and going from 25% to 33% would certainly help. 
 
It would be nice for Smart to improve, and forcing teams to respect his outside shot even a little bit would be helpful for his overall game.  I'm just not sure I'd attach as much importance to it as you seem to.  
 
The only way making that 8% jump in 3 point shooting would turn Smart into one of the best PGs in the league is if he is already pretty close to being one of the best point guards in the league.  Theoretically I suppose that could be true, but I'd like to see it first. 
 

bowiac

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radsoxfan said:
The only way making that 8% jump in 3 point shooting would turn Smart into one of the best PGs in the league is if he is already pretty close to being one of the best point guards in the league.  Theoretically I suppose that could be true, but I'd like to see it first. 
That's basically fair, yeah. I think in a couple years, apart from outside shooting, he might be among the best PGs in the league, yes (almost nobody is good as a rookie). As I said, I'm a crazy person when it comes to Smart.
 
In other news, sabermetric superstar Jordan Adams killed it in his first summer league game. He's a fun flash point guy for the importance of college steals.
 

Jordan Adams made 5-of-12 from the field and all eight attempts from the line for 22 points vs. the Thunder on Saturday, adding three rebounds, three assists, four steals, one block, one turnover and four 3-pointers.
 
 

radsoxfan

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bowiac said:
 
That's basically fair, yeah. I think in a couple years, apart from outside shooting, he might be among the best PGs in the league, yes (almost nobody is good as a rookie). As I said, I'm a crazy person when it comes to Smart.
 
In other news, sabermetric superstar Jordan Adams killed it in his first summer league game. He's a fun flash point guy for the importance of college steals.
 
 
 
Definitely.  Huge steals, terrible athleticism.  Somethings gotta give.
 

DannyDarwinism

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And on the flip side, there's his former teammate, Zach Lavine, who has off-the-charts athleticism, but managed less than half of the steal percentage of Adams, and apparently only managed 0.6 steals per game while in high school.  That seems remarkably low for what was, presumably, a high-usage (based off of his 29 ppg), high minutes guard.  It's one of the reasons I'm skeptical of Lavine- despite his athleticism and decent shooting stroke, I suspect he just doesn't have a very good court sense.  
 

bowiac

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Just to further infuriate those who think numbers are an anathema to basketball, some data about the predictive accuracy of summer league games and their surprising usefulness for rookies:
 
By contrast, the correlation of .463 for rookies is far higher. In fact, it's nearly as strong as the relationship between my college stat translations and rookie performance (.468). When we combine the two factors to try to predict how well players will fare as rookies, summer-league stats make up about a quarter of the combined projection.
On the other hand, data for players with any NBA experience can be totally discounted.
 
Defensive rebound %, block %, and free throw attempt rate are especially useful from summer league games (almost as good as 5 regular season games). Shooting data is basically useless.
 

radsoxfan

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DannyDarwinism said:
And on the flip side, there's his former teammate, Zach Lavine, who has off-the-charts athleticism, but managed less than half of the steal percentage of Adams, and apparently only managed 0.6 steals per game while in high school.  That seems remarkably low for what was, presumably, a high-usage (based off of his 29 ppg), high minutes guard.  It's one of the reasons I'm skeptical of Lavine- despite his athleticism and decent shooting stroke, I suspect he just doesn't have a very good court sense.  
 
They are definitely an interesting contrast, especially since we can fairly compare them given they played in the same system as teammates at UCLA.  LaVine has that Gerald Green, deer in the headlights look on the court quite often, and really has no clue how to use his physical talents.  I would predict an Avery Bradley-like disaster if Minnesota wants him to be a PG.
 
Adams' court awareness and instincts are light years ahead.  His steals rate is entirely from elite anticipation and quick hands, not from any sort of speed, quickness, or athleticism.
 
If you combined the two, you'd have one of the best players in the NBA.  The question is, individually, who will end up being better (and more importantly, will either of them be any good)?  I'm actually a bit skeptical of both, though if I had to pick one, I guess I'd rather have LaVine and hope somehow he starts to "get it". 
 

bowiac

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I'm fairly optimistic about Adams, keeping his athletic limitations in mind. He's going to be a guy I suspect gets overrated in some circles actually because he'll get put into a favorable situation in Memphis. The guard version of DuJuan Blair perhaps.
 

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bowiac said:
Marcus Smart should basically not be doing anything but taking threes in his free time. I'm a crazy person, but I think he's a 33% three point shot away from being one of the best PGs in the NBA.
 
I think this should be priority #2.  Priority 1 should be making sure he can truly run the point and create assists at an acceptable rate.  Even if he is an amazing offensive scoring machine and lockdown defender, if the offensive is slightly organized chaos when he runs the point he is never going to get to show what he can really do on the court.  Remember this isnt a talented group of veterans he will be playing with, this is an inexperienced group that really needs direction and organization.  Chances are this is going to be really easy to address because I think Stevens is one of the best (like top 5 best) in the business at this, but just for a little bit this should be all he cares about.
 

Marbleheader

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Nice dish by Smart. Interesting they are playing him at the 2. Young hurt in practice, may not play.
 
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Marbleheader said:
Isiah says Birds steal haunts him every time he sees him.
 
I almost feel bad for him. 
 
Marbleheader said:
Smart at pg now. 9-0 run since he took over. Impressed with his D. Olynyk sucks.
 
Olynyk has mishandled several passes. Is he known for having bad hands?
 

zenter

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Marbleheader said:
Smart at pg now. 9-0 run since he took over. Impressed with his D. Olynyk sucks.
 
He owned SL last year, and that led to crapitude during the season. Maybe sucking now is a good thing. ;)
 

Marbleheader

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3 early fouls on Smart. That last one is hopefully the kind he cleans up over the summer. Long shot, Smart got in players space and shooter landed on him.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Marbleheader said:
Nice dish by Smart. Interesting they are playing him at the 2. Young hurt in practice, may not play.
Young hurt his neck in a car accident a month ago and hadn't been cleared up until the weekend. Did you here he was cleared and reinjured?
 

Marbleheader

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bowiac said:
Marcus Smart should basically not be doing anything but taking threes in his free time. I'm a crazy person, but I think he's a 33% three point shot away from being one of the best PGs in the NBA.
Just air balled a wide open 3
 

Marbleheader

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Smart went to the rim weakly, got his shot blocked. 18 point lead now a 7 point deficit. No one can shoot.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Marbleheader said:
Nice dish by Smart. Interesting they are playing him at the 2. Young hurt in practice, may not play.
 
Thanks for all the insights.  I assume Pressey is running point?  
 

bowiac

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zenter said:
He owned SL last year, and that led to crapitude during the season. Maybe sucking now is a good thing. ;)
Olynyk was way better last year than we had any right to expect honestly. He was a mid first round pick in the worst draft anyone can remember. He wasn't good, but he wildly exceeded my expectations.
 

DannyDarwinism

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bowiac said:
Olynyk was way better last year than we had any right to expect honestly. He was a mid first round pick in the worst draft anyone can remember. He wasn't good, but he wildly exceeded my expectations.
 
I was fairly down on him going into the draft, but I was happy to be wrong based on what he showed last year.   I'd still prefer Antetokounmpo, and I do wonder if Ainge would've gone with Adams if he had lasted, but I'm eager to see how Olynyk will improve this year.
 

Marbleheader

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Now gone from up 18 to down 20. Pretty much zero redeeming about anyone's performance in the past two quarters.
 

bowiac

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DannyDarwinism said:
I was fairly down on him going into the draft, but I was happy to be wrong based on what he showed last year.   I'd still prefer Antetokounmpo, and I do wonder if Ainge would've gone with Adams if he had lasted, but I'm eager to see how Olynyk will improve this year.
No doubt Antetokounmpo is a much better prospect, but Olynyk showed more ability to shoot the ball than I'd have guessed. I'm loathe to compare him to another lumbering white center, but Spencer Hawes is a plausible outcome. That's not great, but a rotation player is fine for that draft position.
 

Brickowski

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That was the worst three consecutive quarters I've seen a team wearing Celtics uniforms play-- maybe ever. Total team collapse.