The first quarter featured all the action you might expect from day five in the desert — the Nuggets were 4-16 from the field with 5 turnovers and at one point the Celtics deployed a zone defense. It was a weird. It was clunky. It was Summer League.
Without Michael Porter Jr. in the lineup, and with Terrence Davis quickly being snaked off the two-way market, players who either won’t play for the Nuggets this season, or already made their Summer League debuts last summer comprise the remaining group.
Perhaps the most enticing element for die-hard Nuggets fan to sink their teeth into is the play of Jarred Vanderbilt—the versatile forward and freakish athlete out of Kentucky. While Vanderbilt hasn’t garnered the hype of his draft classmate Porter Jr., fans are eager to gather more data points on the most intriguing athlete in Denver’s young core.
Vanderbilt was underwhelming in his first game; which is admittedly far from damming for a young prospect. Nonetheless, he looked raw—his touch lacking, and at times, his athleticism running several steps ahead of his instincts.
He was better in the first of action Tuesday, collecting 8 rebounds, but he failed to make a positive impact offensively, and Denver couldn’t keep pace. The Summer League spacing has proved burdensome for the springy athlete, who has struggled to find clear lanes to the rim with and without the ball.
For Boston, Carsen Edwards was the star of show — scoring 15 points on 5-6 field and 3-3 from deep as the Celtics carried a 42-35 lead into the locker room.
The Nuggets made a run in the third quarter, as Brandon Goodwin and Vanderbilt found their rhythm offensively. Denver outscored Boston 27-19 and the Nuggets took a 62-61 lead into the final quarter.
That was the peak for Denver, who lost control in this game almost immediately as the fourth quarter began. The Celtics went on to win 95-82 after quickly establishing and then maintaining a double-digit lead.
Jarred Vanderbilt finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds on 5-9 from the floor—including one three-pointer—and Goodwin led the Nuggets with 28 points. Carsen Edwards led the Celtics with 23 points on 8-12 from the field and 5-7 from three.
The Nuggets take on the Golden State Warriors in their third* (*first game canceled due to earthquake) Summer League game tomorrow night. That game tips of at 9:30 MST.