A great start turned into a big learning experience for the young Celtics in a Summer League lesson handed out by the Pacers Monday in Orlando.

The Green went up by 18 points early against the Pacers in their second game of Summer League action on Monday. Then they got absolutely throttled by Indiana. Boston ended up losing the game by 19 points, 96-77.

A great start turned into a big learning experience for the young Celtics in a Summer League lesson handed out by the Pacers Monday in Orlando.

The Green went up by 18 points early against the Pacers in their second game of Summer League action on Monday. Then they got absolutely throttled by Indiana. Boston ended up losing the game by 19 points, 96-77.

James Nunnally (11) gets by Celtics' Chris Johnson (12) in Summer League action Monday in Orlando. (AP)

James Nunnally (11) gets by CelticsChris Johnson (12) in Summer League action Monday in Orlando. (AP)

A great start turned into a big learning experience for the young Celtics in a Summer League lesson handed out by the Pacers Monday in Orlando.

The Green went up by 18 points early against the Pacers in their second game of Summer League action on Monday. Then they got absolutely throttled by Indiana. Boston ended up losing the game by 19 points, 96-77.

The 37-point turnaround was as ugly as it sounds. The Celtics shot a mere 34.3 percent (24-for-70) from the field, and only 25.9 percent (7-for-27) from beyond the arc.

Basketball is a game of runs. The Celtics never responded to the Pacers’€™ run, which seemingly lasted three quarters.

‘€œThat response has to happen on the defensive end of the court,’€ Summer League head coach Jay Larranaga told reporters. ‘€œWe were late on everything and we fouled too much.’€

Kelly Olynyk led the team in scoring for the second straight game with 15 points (5-for-13 shooting) to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Meanwhile, Marcus Smart ‘€“ the No. 6 overall pick in the draft ‘€“ had another shaky game. Smart shot just 3-for-15 from the field, finishing with 11 points in 27 minutes.

Shooting remains a huge concern for Smart. But he was also unable to fill out the stat sheet like he did on Saturday against the Heat. Smart only had three boards, four assists and a steal to follow-up his debut.

Smart looked lost at times, settling for bad shots while looking less energetic on the defensive side of the ball (although, the same can be said about the entire team during the last three quarters).

James Young sat out yet again with a neck injury from a June car accident. His status is still up in the air as to whether or not he will play in Summer League.

Willie Reed led the way for the Pacers. He scored 18 points (8-for-12) while adding six rebounds, three assists and blocking four shots. It’€™s just Summer League, but if Willie Reed is drawing comparisons to Willis Reed, it’€™s not a good thing.

The Celtics will look to bounce back on Wednesday against the Pistons at 7 P.M.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow

Over the weekend, Yahoo Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, “Here’s something that remains unchanged: Danny Ainge‘s relentless pursuit of creative ways to engage Minnesota on a Kevin Love deal.”

It should come as no surprise that Ainge is continuing to target Love. After all, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck promised fireworks this summer, and a Love connection is the only big splash left to make. Go ahead, look at the available free agents at point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center.

News flash: LeBron James, Chris Bosh and/or Carmelo Anthony aren’t coming to Boston. The Suns, Pistons, Rockets and Jazz are all respectively expected to match offers for restricted free agents Eric Bledsoe, Greg Monroe, Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward. Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat are all off the board. Lance Stephenson, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol and Paul Pierce are rumored elsewhere. That leaves one top-20 player in Tom Ziller’s great free agent rankings: 5-foot-9 point guard Isaiah Thomas.

Considering he plays the same position as Rajon Rondo and Marcus Smart, Thomas doesn’t exactly qualify as fireworks. Now, look at the unrestricted free agents available in 2015. The two biggest names: Rondo and Love. If Ainge doesn’t pair them now, how confident are you he can do so when they hit the open market next summer? If nothing else, the first week of July has proven high-profile free agents have no interest in the Celtics. Re-signing Rondo and Love would be a different story, since the C’s could offer significantly more money.

In other words, the C’s only real shot to compete in the near future is pairing Rondo and Love. This is a star’s league, and those are the only two that set foot in Boston this summer. Other pieces will follow. Otherwise, Ainge might as well trade Rondo and start from scratch, because the Celtics won’t be contending for quite some time.

Ainge will exhaust all options to acquire Love, including every attempt to involve other teams and satisfy Minnesota’s desire to land a legitimate player in return. Since we can get creative, too, here’s one such option he could try.

CELTICS GET

Kevin Love ($15.7 million in 2014-15, $16.7M player option in 2015-16)
Gordon Hayward (restricted free agent to be signed for double-digit millions annually)
Kevin Martin ($6.8M in 2014-15, $7.1M in 2015-16, $7.4M player option in 2016-17)

While saddled with Martin’s salary for the next three seasons, the C’s land both Love and Hayward. Fireworks.

TIMBERWOLVES GET

Derrick Favors ($13.0M in 2014-15, $12.0M in 2015-16, $11.1M in 2016-17, $12.0M in 2017-18)
Trey Burke ($2.6M in 2014-15, $2.7M in 2015-16, $3.4M in 2016-17, $4.6M qualifying offer in 2017-18)
Jeff Green ($9.2M in 2014-15, $9.2M player option in 2015-16)
Avery Bradley (restricted free agent to be signed for 4 years, $32 million)
2015 first-round pick (Clippers)

While ridding themselves of Martin’s salary, Minnesota acquires a replacement for Love and a backcourt for the future while assuming Green’s salary (and production) in exchange for a first-round pick next summer.

JAZZ GET

Marcus Smart (rookie scale contract can be traded 30 days from signing)
Jared Sullinger ($1.4M in 2014-15, $2.3M in 2015-16, $3.3M qualifying offer in 2017-18)
Brandon Bass ($6.9M in 2014-15)
Keith Bogans ($5.3M non-guaranteed in 2014-15)
2015 first-round pick (Celtics)
2016 first-round pick (Nets)

On the surface, Utah is the real loser, parting ways with three of their most productive players this past season. However, the Jazz upgrade from Burke to Smart alongside Dante Exum, cementing a future backcourt worth building around. They also replace Favors with Sullinger while freeing up $10 million upon cutting Bogans and either letting Bass walk or dealing his expiring contract again at the deadline. Of course, Utah also gets a pair of first-round picks, giving them two apiece for the next three summers. An under-26 starting lineup of Smart, Exum, Jeremy Evans, Sullinger and Enes Kanter with six first-round picks through 2017 is a foundation for future success.

In essence, the Celtics trade Smart, Bradley, Green, Sullinger, Bass, Bogans and three first-round picks for Love and Hayward — a handful of quarters for a pair of dollars. Eating Martin’s contract, losing Bradley’s defense and parting with both 2015 first-round picks are tough pills to swallow, but a triumvirate of Rondo, Love and Hayward makes the Celtics one of the best four teams in the East this season once the roster fills out around them.

This is a pipe dream, probably, considering Bradley and Hayward would have to agree to sign-and-trade deals before waiting a month until Smart’s rookie contract becomes eligible to be dealt. Still, this is the type of creativity required of Ainge when searching for a third team to pull into a potential Love deal. Every day there’s a new idea.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

According to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Celtics and Danny Ainge haven’t given up their pursuit of Timberwovlves forward Kevin Love.

Saturday afternoon, Wojnarowski tweeted the following:

Here's something that remains unchanged: Danny Ainge's relentless pursuit of creative ways to engage Minnesota on a Kevin Love deal.

According to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Celtics and Danny Ainge haven’t given up their pursuit of Timberwovlves forward Kevin Love.

Saturday afternoon, Wojnarowski tweeted the following:

There are, of course, other teams also vying for the services of Love, including (as SI.com points out) the Chicago Bulls.

Stay tuned …

Blog Author: 
WEEI

The Celtics kicked off Summer League play with a 85-77 victory over the Heat Saturday in Orlando.

The game featured 22 lead changes and 12 ties before a 25-13 Boston run to close out the contest helped the Celtics seal the victory.

Kelly Olynyk led the Celtics with 20 points and eight rebounds. (AP)

Kelly Olynyk led Boston with 20 points and eight boards. (AP)

The Celtics kicked off Summer League play with a 85-77 victory over the Heat Saturday in Orlando.

The game featured 22 lead changes and 12 ties before a 25-13 Boston run to close out the contest helped the Celtics seal the victory.

Kelly Olynyk led the Celtics with 20 points (8-of-17 shooting) and eight rebounds while forward Mike Moser contributed 17 points (6-of-11) in 24 minutes off the bench.

Celtics rookie guard and sixth pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Marcus Smart, struggled from the field (2-of-8), but made his presence felt across the stat sheet, finishing the day with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and five steals.

Phil Pressey was solid as the team’€™s starting point guard, scoring nine points (3-of-9) while dishing out seven assists. Pressey also impressed many with a nasty crossover move on Miami rookie point guard Shabazz Napier.

Forward James Ennis led the Heat with 17 points (5-of-11) and eight boards. It was a rough debut for Napier, who scored 12 points, but off a horrible 20 percent shooting percentage from the field (3-of-15) while recording just two assists and eight turnovers.

Celtics rookie guard James Young, taken with the 17th overall pick of the 2014 draft, did not play in Saturday’€™s game for precautionary reasons after injuring his neck in a car accident a few weeks ago.

Boston’€™s next Summer League matchup will be on July 7, as the Celtics take on the Indiana Pacers.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

WALTHAM –€“ The Celtics held their final practice in Waltham on Thursday before heading down to Orlando for the Summer League.

With such a young roster that includes two big name rookies, the Summer League is going to carry significantly more weight for Boston than in past years. Marcus Smart is considered the most exciting talent that everyone is expected have their eyes on. Smart is just excited to get his first taste of the NBA; even if it’€™s just Summer League action.

WALTHAM –€“ The Celtics held their final practice in Waltham on Thursday before heading down to Orlando for the Summer League.

With such a young roster that includes two big name rookies, the Summer League is going to carry significantly more weight for Boston than in past years. Marcus Smart is considered the most exciting talent that everyone is expected have their eyes on. Smart is just excited to get his first taste of the NBA; even if it’€™s just Summer League action.

“€œIt’€™s still going to be a big deal because it is my first game,” Smart told media members before practice started.

Smart expects his Celtics squad to fare well when they take the court at the Amway Center practice floor in Orlando.

“€œActually, we’€™ve come pretty far,”€ said Smart of his team’€™s progress over the last three days. “€œ[We'€™ve] got all these new guys in, [Coach Jay Larranaga is] putting in some new plays, trying to learn some things and playing with different type of style. We’€™ve come a long way.”

We know Smart is ready to begin polishing his game in Orlando before his first season as a professional begins, however, fellow rookie James Young is in a different boat. Young is still recovering from a neck injury suffered in a June car accident.

“€œI haven’€™t heard from Ed [Lacerte], or Danny [Ainge] or Brad [Stevens] on what the plan is for James,” Larranaga told reporters.

Young’€™s status, in terms of playing in Orlando, sounds as if it’€™s up in the air at the moment.

“€œHe did some more stuff yesterday as far as non-contact on the bike,”€ Stevens added on Young. “€œI think he’€™ll be continuing to do some of that stuff today, but I haven’€™t been given a timeline on it. And, obviously, he was in the car accident a couple weeks ago. It’€™s Summer League, we want to be very, very smart about this with him. He’€™s anxious to play, he’€™s antsy, he wants to [play]. But at the same time, I want to be cognizant of the big picture here.”

So is Young’€™s neck a short-term injury?

“Yeah,”€ Stevens immediately responded. “No question.”

Although the team is going to play it safe with Young, he has still not been ruled out, leaving a chance he will make his debut sometime in Orlando.

The focus will not solely be on the recent draft picks, though. Second-year players Kelly Olynyk and Phil Pressey are expected to play big roles on the Summer League team, while developing their individual games.

“The new guys are just trying to get everything down,”€ Stevens elaborated. “[The second-year] guys are trying to continue to enhance their play within the system and within their role. And getting better within that role, hopefully expanding that role. The thing about all of our young guys is they’€™ve worked. They work at a great pace. That’€™s the good part about it.”

Despite the Celtics‘€™ roster having some of the bigger names in the Summer League this year, it’€™s still a busy schedule. That means minutes are going to be available to everyone.

“€œI’€™m pretty comfortable just giving the minutes to players,”€ Larranaga said of his rotation. “€œIt’€™s not real difficult. You just play and substitute guys in and try and get everyone a rest when they need it. We play five games in seven days, so fatigue will be a factor for certain players. Everyone has to be ready to step up when they get their opportunity.”

In the end, what are the Celtics looking to accomplish in Summer League?

“€œStarting to develop the habits that will make us successful during the year,”€ a straightforward Larranaga responded. “That’€™s offensively, that’€™s defensively, that’€™s approach to the game, approach to practice. I think the players have done a great job, so far, of that.

“And I would like to win,” Larranaga said of goals to be reached.

Coach Larranaga and the Celtics will get their first shot at a victory on Saturday, July 5 against the Heat. The game can be seen on NBATV at 11 A.M.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow

Blog Author: 
Julian Edlow