Boston Celtics

  • Monday night’s Celtics Summer League game against the Bucks was a nail-biter all the way through. There were 19 lead changes (nine in the fourth quarter), neither team led by double-digits at any point, and the scoring margin was within five points for most of the fourth quarter.

    Predictably, that set up an opportunity for late-game fireworks. Milwaukee hit a pair of free throws with 6.3 seconds to go to take a 109-108 lead. The Celtics responded with a mad dash up the floor, resulting in an off-balance look for second-year forward Matt Ryan. Ryan hit a wild off-balance shot, knocking down the eventual game winner.

  • That shot capped off what was a remarkable night for Ryan. He scored a team-high 23 points in 24 minutes on the floor, shooting 7-of-12 from the field and 6-of-11 from three. For a Celtics team that may be looking to add more scoring depth off the bench, he certainly gave a performance worth noticing.

    Unfortunately for Ryan, he didn’t get to celebrate the immediate aftermath of the shot with his teammates after landing awkwardly on his right ankle. However, he was feeling better after the game and told reporters “I just tweaked it and I haven’t tweaked it in a while. Just felt weird.”

    That wasn’t all Ryan had to say postgame. When asked what it means to him to be with the Celtics in Summer League this year, he started to get choked up.

  • “It’s pretty emotional, it’s been a crazy 11 months. I was home for a year and a half. I don’t know if you guys heard my story, but I was driving DoorDash a year ago,” he said. “To be here, to be a part of the Boston Celtics is special. It’s special.”

    “I was in the gym last year, alone, all year,” he added. “I was in the gym for like four or five hours alone every day all year waiting for an opportunity. So all those reps, all that work – I’m finally getting a chance to show it.”

    Ryan, who is from White Plains, New York, began his college career at Notre Dame before transferring to Vanderbilt and then Chattanooga. After going undrafted in 2020 he sat out the 2020-2021 season. Early last year, he bounced around in Summer League and G League before signing a two-way contract with the Celtics in February.

    In 14 games with the Maine Celtics, Ryan averaged 20.4 points in 34 minutes per game, shooting 44.9 percent from three. He appeared in one NBA regular season game, hitting a three pointer.

    The Celtics Summer League schedule continues on Tuesday night. They’ll take on the Golden State Warriors in a ‘rematch’ of this year’s NBA Finals.