Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Celtics point guard, 19, among ‘biggest rookie surprises’

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For some teams, the Summer League is a time for their top rookies to get their first look at NBA action. But for the Boston Celtics this summer, it was an opportunity to find players who could potentially contribute at the end of their bench.

They found one of those players in Mfiondu Kabgenele who was signed to a two-way deal. Ditto for second-round rookie JD Davison, who has also signed a two-way contract with the Celtics. In fact, Davison played so well that he deserved a lot of praise.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman wrote an article about the Summer League’s most surprising and disappointing players. And luckily for Celtics fans, Davison topped the two lists. Wasserman cited Davison’s impressive playing style as one of his greatest strengths.

“After a slow start, JD Davison stringed together two double-doubles to finish the Summer League averaging 8.2 assists,” Wasserman said. “He showed great feeling and patience when he was made up of pick and rolls. Playmaking was Davison’s greatest strength in Alabama, so it wasn’t very surprising to see how well he was able to field teammates with more space and freedom in Las Vegas.”

While Wasserman wasn’t overly surprised by Davison’s playmaking skills, he was shocked to see how well the point guard shot from three-point range.

Boston handed Davison the keys to attacking during Summer League, and he didn’t disappoint. He shot 30.1% from three-point range in college on 2.5 tries, so the fact that he nailed his three-pointers in the Summer League came as a surprise to Wasserman.

“However, hitting 7 out of 14 threes was surprising. Davison shot well while also using his athleticism to finish drives and switches,” Wasserman wrote.

Davison appeared in all five of the Celtics’ Summer League games. Over the five games, Davison averaged 13.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists on 43.4% shots from the field and the aforementioned 50.0% shots from three-point range. His 8.2 assists led all Summer League players.

While his shooting was certainly a surprise, Wasserman also mentioned that his value to the Celtics will depend on another area of ​​his game.

Shooting 50.0% from three-point land in the Summer League is certainly impressive, but Davison only made 14 three-pointers. As far as Wasserman is concerned, Davison’s value for Boston will depend on his playing ability.

“Yet his value to Boston will focus on assisting, which was evident when the draft No. 53 led the summer league in assists,” Wasserman explained.

At the college level, Davison’s playing skills were overshadowed by his high turnover numbers. In his one year in Alabama, he averaged 4.3 assists and 2.9 turnovers. However, during the Summer League he increased his assist count (8.2) while his turnovers remained relatively flat (3.0).

The Celtics already have a stuffy guard rotation with Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard in the mix, but with Davison on a two-way contract he should have plenty of time to develop in the Ge League next season .

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