The Celtics had their third summer league practice Monday at the Auerbach Center.
Here’s what we learned:
It doesn’t seem like we’ll see much of Romeo Langford.
Top draft pick Romeo Langford only participated in light drills as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, summer league coach Scott Morrison said. Langford is not expected to play in a live setting over the next week or two, and will continue to acclimate to the organization via film sessions and limited skill work.
Robert Williams says he’s “starving.”
Second-year center Robert Williams is eager to prove himself at summer league.
“I’m trying to get out here and play,” Williams said. “I’m trying to showcase. Everybody’s trying to showcase, man. There’s a chip on your shoulder — always — especially, not being able to play that much in summer league last year, not being able to prove myself like I wanted.”
A year ago, Williams was sidelined for nearly the entirety of summer league because he suffered a left knee contusion minutes after checking into the team’s first game. One of two non-rookies already on Boston’s roster participating in summer league — forward Guerschon Yabusele is the other — Williams is expected to play in all four games this go-around, according to Morrison.
Summer league should be an early preview of the strides Williams has made this offseason. He has been in the gym regularly, according to president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. With the departure of bigs Al Horford and Aron Baynes, Williams will likely experience a boost in playing time this season — and is looking forward to the opportunity.
Just how hungry is he?
“I’m starving, man,” Williams said.
Williams also had nothing but praise for his new teammates, some of which he knew previously from playing in the SEC.
“There’s a lot of fight with these guys,” Williams said. “We have problems stopping drills sometimes. They don’t want to stop. They want to keep playing. As long as we got 100 percent effort, we good.”
Grant Williams is operating as expected.
It’s only been three days, but all indications are that first-round draft pick Grant Williams is living up to the billing.
“Grant is so far — and I’m sure it will continue — is the prototypical teammate, professional,” Morrison said. “Always talking, always encouraging his teammates, always wanting to make the right play. Not worried about getting his own touches or getting his own shots. More concerned he’s making the right play with the team to get a good look.”
Williams’s high school and college coaches had both praised Williams for his selflessness and commitment to winning. They also highlighted his refreshingly child-like enthusiasm, which has been on display as well.
Tacko Fall is tall.
Morrison’s first impression of 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall?
“He’s pretty tall,” Morrison said. “You got to be careful walking around the baseline because he puts his hands on his hips. You could catch an elbow to the eye.”
Fall’s stature was hard to ignore, as he towered over reporters as well as most of his teammates. The 23-year-old Senegal native revealed it’s difficult to find clothes and shoes — Size 22 — that fit. As is walking through doors.
“I have to duck,” he said. “It’s kind of second nature now. Regardless of the door, I always duck. If not, you can guess what’s going to happen.”
But on the court, Fall views his height as an advantage and is hoping to leverage it in proving that he’s worthy of a roster spot. Morrison noted the staff has been impressed with Fall’s mobility at his size.
“I’m always the biggest guy on the floor,” Fall said. “I’ve worked on a lot of things that’s helped me get used to my height and get used to my weight.”
Fall went undrafted but signed an Exhibit 10 contract that allows him to participate in summer league and training camp with the Celtics. He said he chose Boston because he wanted to play somewhere he can “fit in right away” and somewhere he knows the team “really [wants him].”
“I feel like I had all of that here in Boston,” he said.
New Celtics have arrived in Boston.
Newly hired assistant coach Kara Lawson was on the court working with Edwards after practice.
New Cs assistant Kara Lawson working with Carsen Edwards. pic.twitter.com/T15KUrT4Ap
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 1, 2019
Point guard Kemba Walker, who has agreed to sign a four-year, $141 million contract, walked into the Auerbach Center wearing a green Celtics hoodie. Walker was also spotted on Newbury St. later in the afternoon, and stopped to take selfies with a small group of young fans.