The Boston Celtics kicked off their 2013-2014 NBA Summer League schedule Saturday against the Miami Heat in Orlando, Florida. Rookies Marcus Smart and the undrafted free-agent Mike Moser left superb first impressions in helping to lead the Green to an 85-77 win.
Second-year man Kelly Olynyk led the charge for Boston. The big man tallied 20 points, hauled down eight boards and notched four steals.
Moser, who plays power forward, caught the attention of many with his play. He was second on the team with 17 points, 3-for-6 from deep. Moser went undrafted out of the University of Oregon. His offensive outbreak will certainly warrant further attention as the summer moves along.
Smart shot the basketball poorly, going 2-for-8 from the floor. He scored just 10 points and attributed his shooting effort to having the jitters. He also had five boards and three assists. His debut was highlighted by a game-high five steals.
The sixth overall pick showcased outstanding defensive ability. His size, length and physicality was on display. Smart spent the majority of the game at the two-guard position. He fought through screens, kept his man in front of him and deflected the basketball.
He stifled Miami’s first-round selection Shabazz Napier. His effort played a major role in holding the Heat to just 32% shooting as a team.
Smart’s defensive mindset meshes perfectly with what coach Brad Stevens values in a player. Unlike most rookies, Smart appears to be possess a much more advanced defensive repertoire.
James Young traveled with the team, but he did not play.
The Celtics will next take on the Indiana Pacers Sunday at 3 p.m.