The Boston Celtics opened NBA Summer League play with an exciting win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Romeo Langford dropped the game-winning 3-pointer going back-to-back from deep with Payton Pritchard en route to an 85-83 win. But as Boston crawled back into things with a 17-2 run, it was point guard Yam Madar’s contributions that stood out.
“I was very happy with Yam,” Celtics Summer League coach Joe Mazzulla said postgame over Zoom. “I thought he did a great job of changing the game with his ball pressure.”
Madar played 17 minutes, finishing his debut with eight points, two rebounds and two assists after entering the game with the Celtics trailing 10-0 halfway through the first quarter.
Boston acquired him with a second-round pick (No. 47) of the 2020 NBA Draft but has been stashed overseas in Europe playing with Hapoel Tel Aviv. Upon arriving in Las Vegas for Summer League, Madar needed some time to get going, but Mazzulla is happy with how he responded to feedback.
“I think just finding his niche,” Mazzulla said. “I think he’s great in pick-and-roll, he’s aggressive and just trigger-happy with making the right read, and that was one of the points of emphasis for him was can he make the right read over and over again.”
Madar’s goal is for that to continue, as he works toward his goal of playing for the Celtics.
“It’s a dream come true being on the floor, wearing that Celtics jersey,” Madar said over Zoom.
“I’m just trying to do whatever I can to try to make the team win. It was the defense today that I tried to bring from the bench just to bring some energy to the floor, helping the guys on the floor to bring some extra push. And I’m happy it was good.”
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