|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Orlando Summer League came to an end on Friday, with the 76ers taking the top honors on Championship Day, while the Celtics lost to the Indiana Pacers and finished with a 3-2 record. For the second straight year, Kelly Olynyk was Boston’s best player, although most of the focus was naturally on the sixth pick in the Draft, guard Marcus Smart, who struggled early but eventually settled down and put up respectable numbers.
Olynyk, who played in four of the Celtics’ five games, ranked fifth in the League with 17.5 points per game and eighth with 7.3 rebounds. He also played 32.5 minutes on average, second only to Sergey Karasev, who was acquired by the Nets in Thursday’s three-team deal with Boston and Cleveland and played just one game. Not surprisingly, none of the eight top scorers was a 2014 Draft pick, as Olynyk and his fellow “veterans” showed off their experience in dominating their younger competition.
Smart, who started every game at shooting guard, struggled with his shot, converting just 29.4% of his field goal attempts, but still managed to average 14.8 points thanks to his 29.2 minutes per game, which ranked seventh overall and fourth among players who played all four games. Despite his shooting woes, Smart shined in other departments: his 4.2 assists per game were 10th most in the League, and he added another 4.2 boards, showing off his ability to make the most of his 6’3″, 225-lb. frame.
Another standout for Boston, for the most part, was second-year point guard Phil Pressey, who played like he was competing for a roster spot, which he may well have been. The Celtics will have to decide later this month whether to pick up his option for 2014-15 and, while it seems that they are inclined to do so based on his solid play at the end of last season and his low salary (less than $900,000), the acquisition of shooting guard Marcus Thornton in the aforementioned trade has made the backcourt quite crowded.
Pressey was very good except for one brutal 1-for-15 shooting performance in a win Thursday over Orlando, which left his field goal percentage for the tournament at 32.2. He ranked fourth overall with 5.4 assists per game and tied for third with 2.2 steals, while adding 10.6 points.
Of the non-roster invitees, the best was easily power forward Mike Moser, an undrafted rookie out of Oregon who recorded 13.6 points, 4.8 boards and 2 steals, which tied him for sixth with, among others, Olynyk and Smart. His chances of making the roster like Pressey did last year, however, are slim – although the Celtics only have two PFs, they are stacked at center and would have to make plenty of room in the frontcourt before signing him.
7/5 vs. MIA, W 85-77
7/7 vs. IND, L 77-96
7/9 vs. DET, W 92-90
7/10 vs. ORL, W 76-67
7/11 vs. IND, L 86-95