NBA Summer League 2021 continues to roll on. Day 10 took place on Saturday, and there was no shortage of action. Here’s a look at four key takeaways from the games in Las Vegas.
Celtics beat 76ers to stay undefeated
So far, the best team in Las Vegas has been the Boston Celtics, and they picked up another win on Saturday. The Celtics bested Philadelphia, 100-80, and in turn, they moved to 4-0 in the Summer League. They’re not the only undefeated team in Vegas, but they are the only team that has won four games at this point. The Celtics benefitted from a balanced attack against Philadelphia, as they had five different players score in double figures. Zach Auguste led the way for Boston with 18 points and 6 rebounds, while Carson Edwards added 16 points. 7 assists and this nice no-look assist:
Given their perfecet start, the Celtics could end up playing in the Summer League championship on Tuesday. Per the NBA, the Summer League doesn’t have its typical playoff bracket format this year. Instead, the two teams with the best record after four games will face off in the championship, with tiebreakers in place to decide the title game. The breakdown of tiebreakers can be found here.
All eyes on LiAngelo Ball
One of the central storylines of Summer League this year has been the play of LiAngelo Ball. With his two brothers, Lonzo and LaMelo, already well-established in the NBA, there is a lot of interest in the third Ball brother, and if he’ll be able to make it in the league. He’s played pretty well in Vegas so far, and in turn, he may have boosted his own stock. He dropped 16 points in his first game with the Hornets, and he followed that up with a 10-point performance in the second game. He had eight points in Charlotte’s third game, and he matched that total in their fourth contest against the Raptors on Saturday.
Against Toronto, Ball played 17 minutes, and he knocked down three of his eight attempts from the floor, including this deep three ball:
Unfortunately for Charlotte, Ball’s promising play in Vegas hasn’t been resulting in wins, as the Hornets have dropped all four games that they’ve played so far. It will be interesting to see if Ball ultimately does enough in Vegas to warrant an invite to training camp in September, either with the Hornets or another organization.
Bones Hyland propels Nuggets
The Nuggets entered Saturday 0-3 in Summer League, but rookie Bones Hyland had something to say about that. The guard, who the Nuggets selected with the 26th overall pick in this summer’s draft, had a very solid performance against the Dallas Mavericks to help Denver secure a victory. Bones dropped 28 points, four assists, and six rebounds on 9-of-17 from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range.
It was an impressive showing, and one that probably made the Nuggets feel pretty good about how they used their late first round pick this year. Hyland is still relatively raw, but his upside is obvious.
Off-court bonding for new Laker teammates
Summer League isn’t just about the action that takes place on the court, but also what happens off of it. On Saturday, a pair of new teammates used the games in Vegas as an opportunity to do some bonding. LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, who was traded to the Lakers late last month, pulled up to support the Lakers in their game against the Detroit Pistons.
James and Westbrook also put in some work on the court before catching the Summer League action, so it appears as though the duo is being proactive when it comes to building their relationship, both on and off the court.