Boston Celtics

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 10: Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics drives against the Denver Nuggets during the 2021 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on August 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Celtics defeated the Nuggets 107-82. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Don’t look now, but the Summer League Celtics may be better than last year’s regular season Celtics. The duo of Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith are lighting it up in Las Vegas. Most recently, Boston demolished Orlando 108-71 on Thursday.

While wins in Summer League doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, Thursday’s victory was an impressive one on many different levels. The stats and highlight plays that came out of the game are too good not to share.

  • Sharing Is Caring

    The Celtics set an NBA Summer League record for 33 assists in a game. That beats the previous mark of 29 helpers set by the Heat back in 2018.

    Pritchard led the way in the assists department with nine. In his rookie season, the guard never tallied nine assists in a game. Summer League is against lesser competition, but if this is a sign of what is to come for Pritchard, Celtics fans should get extremely excited. He already has the shooting down, now he is becoming a great game manager and finding his open teammates.

    “What separates good point guards from becoming great is the ability to make people around you better, get people easier shots, and control the game,” Pritchard said after the game. “Obviously that’s what I’m trying to become, so I’m going to keep working on that.”

  • Sharpshooters

    The Magic made 27 shots from the field on Thursday. The Celtics made 19 shots from beyond the arc. It was a shooting clinic for Boston’s youngsters. They weren’t even throwing up bad shots either, making them at a 43 percent mark.

    Sam Hauser, the undrafted rookie free agent, was on fire from deep. The Virginia-product went 6-10 from three, totalling 21 points. In the first two games, Hauser only had a combined eight points. That means his Thursday output was up 263 percent. It’s comparing apples with oranges, but it’s still fun to do some random math.

  • Not to mention, Hauser had seven assists and four rebounds.

    “The first two games I was kind of getting used to [the game speed] and couldn’t make a shot,” Hauser said. “But I think in this third game, I really got my legs underneath me and adjusted.”

    Pritchard matched his assists with some great shooting. The sophomore had 17 points and went 4-6 from deep, like really, really deep. Logo Pritchard showed up on Thursday.

    And Logo Pritchard didn’t show up just once.

  • Scoring Onslaught

    Great passing + knockdown shooting = a scoring onslaught. The Celtics pour in 108 points, the fourth most they’ve ever scored in Summer League. It is also the second most scored by any team in this year’s tournament.

    Hauser had the team and game high, but right behind him was Nesmith. The sophomore turned in 18 points on 53 percent shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. In 25 minutes played, he was a +33. Wow. Plus, contrary to his teammates, Nesmith was attacking the rim and finishing on the inside.

    The offense was not the only thing clicking. The Celtics defense was solid in its own right, allowing only one Magic player to score in double digits. Boston finished with a +37 point differential. That is the best single game mark in Summer League this year.