Boston Celtics: JD Davison showcases his potential in win over Grizzlies

Boston Celtics guard JD Davison (20) Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics guard JD Davison (20) Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

Summer League is always an exciting, low-stakes part of the NBA calendar. It offers teams and their fans an opportunity to see what the young talent on their roster is capable of. These players are getting a shot to show that they belong on an NBA roster. For the Boston Celtics, though, the stakes are relatively low this time around.

Boston’s rotation is largely set; you know it says a lot when Sam Hauser is the guy with the most eyes on him because he figures to compete for one of the last spots on the bench when the season opens.

But so far Hauser has largely taken a backseat to his teammates performances. Whether it be Matt Ryan’s game-winner against the Milwaukee Bucks, Mfiondu Kabengele making a real case for a spot on the roster as a backup center, or Juhann Begarin‘s explosive finishing, it feels like Boston has someone new showing off their skills each time their Summer League squad takes the court.

And this afternoon, it was JD Davison that stole that spotlight and turned in one of the best performances of the entire Summer League so far. Davison scored 28 points, dished out ten assists, hauled in five rebounds, and showcased his defensive skills with three steals and a block. It was an all-around performance that showed what Davison could become if his development goes according to plan.

JD Davison is showing the Boston Celtics what he is capable of

Davison entered the league as the 53rd pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and had very few expectations as a result. Davison is a player who showed tons of potential in college during his lone season at Alabama, but struggled to consistently put the pieces together.

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Those struggles with consistency followed Davison throughout his first three Summer League contests. He showed flashes of his potential, with slick finishes and perfectly placed lob passes to his teammates, but he struggled to consistently score and impose himself on the game.

That changed this afternoon against the Memphis Grizzlies, as Davison was everywhere. He was hitting his shots, finding his teammates, helping on the glass, and staying focused on defense. When everything comes together for Davison, he makes basketball look quite easy.

Davison’s 28 points were more than he scored in his first three games combined (20 total points). He was slashing his way to the hoop, getting to the free throw line, and most importantly, hitting his threes. Davison’s three-point shooting in college was wildly inconsistent, but he shot 4-6 from behind the arc against Memphis, showing that the talent is there.

The key moving forward for Davison and the Boston Celtics is going to be figuring out how to replicate these types of performances. Too often, Davison struggles to impact games, whether it be his streaky shooting, inability to find teammates, or lazy defense. Most of the time Davison shows his talent in bits and pieces, but when everything comes together at once, it’s hard to ignore Davison’s ceiling.

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It’s only Summer League, but Davison is making a good first impression with the Boston Celtics. Expectations won’t ever truly be high for Davison, but it’s clear the front office saw something in Davison that they believe they can mold into a key contributor on their team. Davison showed what he’s capable of today, but now it’s time to work on doing it more than once.