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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Celtics Witnessing Glimpse Of Future Amid G League Finals?


The Celtics haven’t formally kicked off their long-awaited NBA Playoff run. Nonetheless, the workforce is likely to be sitting again whereas its future is put to work down in Portland, Maine—roughly 107 miles north of TD Backyard.

After defeating the Oklahoma Metropolis Blue, 106-86 in Recreation 1 of the G League Finals, the Maine Celtics are only a win shy of being topped champions. They may wrap up their sequence with a fast and straightforward sweep of the Blue earlier than the NBA-best Celtics even conclude their common season schedule.

Now, there’s no rush contemplating the majority of postseason minutes will probably be divvied up amongst Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla’s go-to rotation. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Vacation and Derrick White will get the beginning minutes, pending well being on Boston’s facet. Al Horford would be the sixth starter’s function, whereas Payton Pritchard will play ground normal for the reserve unit. That’s what’s introduced the Celtics to a No. 1 seed within the Japanese Convention, constructed their double-digit-game cushion over the runner-up Milwaukee Bucks, and earned them home-court benefit for the playoffs.

Due to this fact, it’s (very) unlikely that modifications as soon as the Celtics take the ground in Spherical 1. However… this doesn’t take away from what might be in retailer for Boston within the coming years, particularly after the workforce signed guard Jrue Vacation to a reported four-year, $135 million contract extension on Wednesday night time — 24 hours forward of Maine’s potential title-clinching matchup with the Blue.

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“You may have depth. You’re not certainly one of these groups like Phoenix (Suns) and you’re principally going to need to recycle the minimal barrel as soon as once more or overpay to maintain Grayson Allen or Royce O’Neal,” ESPN’s Bobby Marks defined following the information of Vacation’s extension. “You may have depth.”

Depth can at present be interpreted as Pritchard, Sam Hauser, or the workforce’s commerce deadline additions of Xavier Tillman Sr. and Jaden Springer, however that isn’t the tip of the road for Boston’s choices. Just a few names down in Maine who’ve already gotten their ft moist in scattered appearances with the Celtics, too, might be known as to motion down the road.

Jordan Walsh
Chosen with the thirty eighth total choose within the second spherical of final 12 months’s draft, Walsh has undergone a affected person introductory season with the Celtics.

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The Arkansas product performed 40 minutes by seven appearances with Boston, averaging 0.9 factors on 33.3% capturing. Not a pattern measurement worthy of creating any name relating to Walsh’s growth, nonetheless, teammates have observed development from when the 20-year-old first joined the workforce.

“Clearly he’s been down in Maine, however we’ve been listening to good issues,” Jaylen Brown stated after Walsh’s debut towards the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 17. “So to see him get on the market and straight away present some indicators of enchancment, get on the market and seize 4 rebounds. You can see he’s bought some expertise and he’s simply working.”

Walsh was a plus-18, scoring 15 factors whereas grabbing six rebounds and logging three steals to open the finals towards Oklahoma Metropolis.

Neemias Queta
After weeks with out filling the fifteenth and closing roster spot amid the aftermath of the commerce deadline, Queta was awarded a brand new contract on Monday night time.

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Queta confirmed flashes of potential whereas making fill-in appearances for a then-injured Luke Kornet, logging 16-plus minutes on the ground six instances in December. The 24-year-old, who signed a two-way contract within the offseason by the Celtics, marked career-highs in factors (4.6) and rebounds (4.1).

“I identical to seeing Neemy be bodily,” Mazzulla stated after Queta scored six factors and grabbed eight rebounds towards the Spurs on Jan. 17, per Jordan Daly of NBC Sports activities Boston. “The presence that he’s taking part in with on the ground — he’s a kind of youngsters, he doesn’t perceive how good he could be.”

Queta notched a double-double in Recreation 1 on Tuesday night time, scoring 20 factors whereas grabbing a game-leading 13 rebounds.

JD Davison
Having fizzled out and fallen down Boston’s depth chart, Davison nonetheless has time to make up floor and earn minutes off the bench for the Celtics.

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Davison was chosen by Boston within the second spherical with the 53rd total choose within the 2022 draft, however he has spent many of the previous two seasons within the G League. The 21-year-old hasn’t proven a lot in his 18 profession appearances with the Celtics, averaging 1.5 factors on 45.5% capturing after being envisioned as an explosive-level playmaker out of Alabama.

Competing on a much bigger stage down in Maine has offered Davison with an opportunity to play in high-pressure moments.

“It means all the things, particularly with this group,” Davison stated of Tuesday night time’s Recreation 1 win, per CLNS Media. “… We simply taking part in effectively collectively and I can’t clarify the sensation proper now.”

Davison averaged 20.8 factors, 5.4 rebounds and eight.6 assists in 28 video games performed with Maine this season.

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