Summer league recap: Grizzlies fall in Celtics afternoon game

The Memphis Grizzlies had a chance to return to the Summer League Championship as they stayed around the top-3 and had the points difference to make things interesting. To do that, they would have to outlast the Boston Celtics.

Unfortunately, the Grizzlies lost 108-91.

The Grizzlies didn’t start well, falling 14-3 due to poor shooting. While the Grizzlies were on the right foot throughout the game, the Celtics were more powerful – attacking with physical strength on both sides of the ball.

2022 Las Vegas Summer League – Memphis Grizzlies vs. Boston Celtics

Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Point Ziaire returns

Ziaire Williams continued his experience on the ball as he had primary responsibility for the initiator in the starting group. Expected in a Summer League setting, there’s a mixed bag as it’s an opportunity for him to broaden the horizons of his game.

To start with the cons, Boston’s defense was powerful and lured him into 8 turnovers. They jumped into the fast lane on William’s daring plates while urging him to give his grip less leeway. He also didn’t generate many pennies (2 assists) despite it being a quiet game from the rest of the team.

However, the flashes were tempting. He continued to make good reads from the pick-and-roll, mostly with slip-bounces to the roll. What’s more fascinating is that Williams made some wonderful mid-range pull-up jumpers. He has a lot of potential to create in this zone.

Ziaire Williams showed more comfort as the Summer League action progressed and his performance here could be key for him off the bench. With Melton and Anderson gone, they lose a solid scoring punch and some relief. These are areas Williams worked on in Summer League and could result in a crucial 6th roll off the bench.

2022 Las Vegas Summer League – Memphis Grizzlies vs. Boston Celtics

Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Other takeaways

  • Big Lofton energy. Kenneth Lofton Jr. continued his bleeding Summer League aftermath this afternoon. He finished on 16 points using a combination of skillful footwork and brute force on the low block. Although he didn’t play much of a role on the glass (only 2 rebounds), his goal was one of the game’s few bright spots. Lofton has shone in the Summer League and is a valuable asset for the Grizzlies with a two-way contract. Though he could realistically win the G-League MVP award this season, it might not be long before the Grizzlies convert his two-way contract into a valuable full-NBA deal.
  • Quiet afternoon from the front. Absent a fourth-quarter surge from David Roddy, the forwards were pretty quiet for the most part. Jake LaRavia was a non-factor shooting the basketball, pulling up just 2 shot attempts and not getting as many touches to make it out of dribble for his teammates. After vigorous performances in consecutive games, Santi Aldama wasn’t nearly as aggressive as he scored 10 points and 6 rebounds with just 6 shot attempts. There shouldn’t be any cause for concern for these two players, but you’d be hoping for a little more aggressiveness in the upcoming Summer League final game.
  • Up and Down by Tillman. Xavier Tillman was confident and looking for his shot. I was a fan of the way he attacked downhill and used his body. However, its lack of vertical pop hurts its finishing abilities. He likes this dumpster swimmer, although he had a few hard jumps and got stuck on them. Tillman finished with 12 points on a 4-10 shooting and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes.
  • Promise by Kennedy Chandler. Aside from Ziaire Williams, Kennedy Chandler probably promised the most in this game. He had 11 points and 10 assists while shooting 5-13 from the field. He showed great composure when driving downhill, including some connections with Kenneth Lofton and David Roddy for inside arrivals. His speed change, powerful burst and great play make him an intriguing point guard prospect, and he should fill in quite nicely as the Grizzlies’ 3rd point guard – he gets development replays with the Memphis Hustle if Ja Morant and Tyus Jones are healthy . and fill in for them if one of them is absent.

The Grizzlies have another Summer League game to wrap up basketball for a few months. Stay with GBB for more coverage.

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