It is interesting to see the Boston Celtics dominate the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. However, the team’s roster is doubtful to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers in the upcoming season after losing several key players.
In this year’s Summer League, rookie Jayson Tatum showcased his outstanding performance. The number three pick in 2017 NBA Draft shone brighter than the number one and number two picks, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball from Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. He overpowered both players in their first NBA games.
In the game against the Lakers on Saturday, July 8, Tatum scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in an 86-81 victory. Three days later, the 6’8″ small forward dominated the perimeter in the game against the Sixers, posting 15 points and six rebounds to bring the Celtics an 88-83 win. The Celtics continued their winning streak by defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-69 on Thursday. After remaining undefeated in four games, the Boston Celtics will face the Dallas Mavericks next Saturday, July 15.
The surprising dominance of the Boston Celtics in the 2017 NBA Summer League exhibits a glimpse of hope for the upcoming 2017-18 regular season. Tatum and Jaylen Brown work very well together as a superb wing duo, according to NBA analyst Shaun Powell. They overwhelmed the opponents with superb athleticism and aggressiveness. Furthermore, they are also able to switch positions and create mismatches in the opponent’s defense. Nevertheless, their ability to support the Celtics to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017-18 season is still questionable.
This off-season, the Celtics have focused their player hunt by stockpiling versatile wing players. Earlier this month, the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz with a $128 million and four-year deal. However, the Celtics had to let Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk depart to other teams. Moreover, they also failed to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers. As a result, the Celtics lost their depth in the frontcourt and to overcome that shortcoming, the management signed center Aron Baynes from the Detroit Pistons to a one-year contract. Baynes is expected to strengthen rim protection off-the-bench and support Al Horford.
On the current roster, the Boston Celtics have an abundance of versatile wing players that are capable of playing multiple positions. This gives head coach Brad Stevens plenty of options on the perimeter by utilizing Hayward, Tatum, and Brown. It will be interesting to see how coach Stevens devises his strategy to dominate the Eastern Conference and take on Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017-18 season.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]