Pritchard arrived at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas looking to
take advantage of the opportunity to show he deserves major minutes
this upcoming season with the Boston Celtics.
point guard was one of the biggest stars in Las Vegas before
leaving the team due to a prior family engagement. He averaged 20.3
points, 8.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds in three games while helping
the unbeaten Celtics reach Tuesday night’s championship game
against the Sacramento Kings (4-0).
news for Boston, which parted ways with Kemba Walker this
offseason. Pritchard may be in line for a more prominent role in
Boston’s backcourt that includes Marcus Smart at point guard.
57.7% from 3-point range and his 1.38 points per possession ranks
first among all Summer League players. He also protected the
basketball well, averaging 1.3 turnovers per game
And while he
won’t play in the title game, Pritchard gave the the Celtics with
something to think about before leaving.
“That is what
separates good point guards from great ones — the ability to make
people around you better and get people shots and just being able
to control the game,” said Pritchard, who averaged 7.7 points and
1.8 assists last year in 66 games for the Celtics. “That is what
I’m trying to become and I’m going to keep working on that.”
reached the championship game behind a balanced scoring attack and
a consistently strong defense ignited by first-round draft pick
Davion Mitchell. His numbers are eye-popping, but there’s no
denying what he brings on defense.
the nickname “Off Night” while helping Baylor to an NCAA national
championship last season — as in, whoever he’s guarding is going to
have an off night.
bread and butter, the way he attacks the game, the way he defends
it,” said Kings Summer League head coach Bobby Jackson. “He’s a
really, really great on-ball defender. He has to get better off the
ball and we’ve talked about it. But he sets the tone at the top of
the key offensively and defensively for us.”
Here are some
of the other Summer League standouts:
— Cam Thomas,
Nets: Thomas is leading the NBA Summer League in scoring, averaging
27 points per game while probably making some NBA general managers
wish they hadn’t passed on drafting him. The 27th overall pick in
2021 had a 31-point night that included a game-winning 3-pointer in
sudden death double overtime Thursday followed by a 36-point
performance Sunday. The LSU product is shooting 36% from 3-point
Cunningham, Pistons: The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft hasn’t
disappointed, averaging 18.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
There are surely some Detroit fans who’d like to see him with the
ball in hands more often than what they’ve seen this summer given
his passing ability. But he’ll needed to cut down on his turnovers
(4 per game) moving forward.
— Paul Reed,
76ers: The 76ers already have an All-Star center in Joel Embiid,
but G League MVP Paul Reed could bring some quality depth to
Philly. Check out Reed’s numbers in an overtime loss Sunday night
to the Timberwolves: 27 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, four
steals and four blocks. Reed is averaging 17.5 points, 12.5
rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in Las Vegas.
Quickley, Knicks: Like Pritchard, Quickly is another second-year
point guard who appears to have taken a major step forward in his
game, averaging 21.8 points and eight assists per game. He’s only
shooting 25% from 3-point range, but the 2020 first-round draft
pick has shown promise that he could really begin to emerge in his
Rookies: The Houston Rockets had three picks in the first round,
including Jalen Green at No. 2 overall. Green played well in three
game appearances averaging 20.3 points per game while shooting
52.6% from 3-point range and 92.9% from the free throw line. But
the Rockets have also gotten a big boost from 6-foot-9 center
Alperen Sengun, who is averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and three
— Desmond Bane,
Grizzlies: The second-year guard has quietly had a productive
summer and is third in the league in scoring at 24 points per game
while shooting an eye-catching 69.2% from beyond the arc. He could
be a nice complement to point guard Ja Morant this season.