Got a chance to catch most of the OKC vs. Boston game this evening after the girlfriend went to bed. Stat line:
4 points on 2-4 shooting
10 boards (3 offensive)
2 blocked shots (they only give him credit for one but he definitely has one against Ibaka in the 1st half and then has a tie up block against Mullens where he just perfectly times Mullens going up off a broken down defensive play. Mullens ends up winning the jump)
Underwhelming some might say? Hardly. In the first half Art was defending against OKC's Serge Ibaka showing good lateral movement keeping Ibaka in front of him, an ability to hedge properly on pick and rolls, proper help defense while maintaining good lateral movement across the lane. His defense and outlet passes provided for numerous fast breaks keeping Boston ahead through most of the game until the 4th quarter.
His offense consisted of constantly initiating team movement through a willingness to set pick and rolls (the guys starting ahead of him did nothing but try and post up) and made good cuts to the basket. That said, the offense ran a total of zero plays for him which and on said pick and rolls only twice did the guard make an attempt to pass to him which was why he only got 4 touches as the game for Boston was dominated by Notre Dame's Harangody (52nd overall and if he keeps this up could be a steal for Boston...6'8" 246 power forward who can shoot the 3) and Jaycee Carroll out of Utah State. He led all players on either side with his 10 boards and played most of his minutes against Ibaka and Mullens.
So did he wow and amaze? No. But rarely if ever do big men wow and amaze in summer league games because they're always guard dominated. There wasn't a single pass in to the post in the first half for the Celtics and not to say that Art demands the ball, but it makes it very hard to prove yourself on that end of the floor if you never get your hands on the ball.
Art is definitely doing the things he needs to do though to get a shot at playing in the league. Good defense, rebounding at a high rate, and scoring opportunistically. Sure its summer league, but for those of you in the camp that Radford doesn't play against talented teams, well the talent is certainly better in Summer League than it is in the Big South. Looking forward to seeing more of him soon.
Oh and he was one of only 3 Celtics players to end up with a positive +/- (+2, one player +5, and another +2)
He's only listed with 1 block but he definitely had 2.
1st half: Block on Ibaka going up for a 12 foot jumper, slight fade away
2nd half: Tie-up block agains BJ Mullens (again nicely timed)
2nd half: Commentators talking about how thick and buff he looks making the comment "he's obviously a guy who is quite familiar with the weight room" So he's at the very least...long and strong.
(Somehow missed both of his buckets...)
Things he'll need to work on:
- More assertive cutting to the hoop on pick and rolls
- Gotta hit your free throws (only 0-1, but he can't afford to miss given his current situation)
- Find a way to get involed (3 offensive boards works, but I'd like to see him turn that into more than 4 points)
- Where the starting center for Boston, Erden, tried to get the ball on the post, Art constantly went out to pick & roll. I need to see him post up and show that he can hold an NBA body off while caling for the ball.