Boston Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards’ ball defense got the team out of their “all week” offense in training
LAS VEGAS – A casual look at the highlights from Boston Celtics rookie Carsen Edward will tell you he can score, and sure enough, Edwards put buckets in his Celtics debut on Saturday.
Edwards lost 20 points to the Philadelphia 76ers, leading the Celtics to a 96-82 victory. In the process, he showed many of the characteristics that made teams like the Celtics sit down and pay attention – explosiveness, deep reach, and impressive body control to stop and jump on a dime, which bailed out the team in a few late shots. – clock situations.
“I accomplished what I wanted to do by winning,” Edwards said after the game. “I just want to have an impact on the team and help us win. My first experience is a blessing, man, so happy to be here. Just to put on that jersey and be there.
But Edwards’ defense stood out on Saturday, perhaps brighter than his offense. The stocky guard can absorb contact from the ball carriers, and when opposing guards bring the ball to the ground, Edwards can come down and force turnovers without committing a foul. Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson noted that even though Edwards is only 6ft 0, he has a 6ft 6in wingspan, which, combined with his sturdy frame, gives him a headache as as defender of the ball.
Edwards’ defense has been so good that the Celtics struggled to practice their offense in the Summer League.
“We know he’s not afraid to see him play in college, but it’s hard to see the harshness on TV,” Celtics Summer League coach Scott Morrison said after Saturday’s win . “He goes into the corps and pulls the teams out of their attack. He got us out of our offense all week in training while he was on defense, and I think he did a good job again tonight, really disrupting their flow and making it difficult for them to move the balloon where they wanted.
With the help of Tremont Waters, who has shown similar two-way promises at a similar position with similar concerns about his size, Edwards disrupted the Philadelphia offense in the same way he played for Boston. The Philly Guards struggled to get into their actions against Edwards, and he dug and recovered well from the perimeter.
“The defensive end is really important to him, mastering our concepts and being able to do the right thing in the right situation with what our plan is,” said Lawson. “It’s number 1, it’s the most important. …
“The only thing Brad (Stevens) has told us while working with our players (at the Summer League) is that we want them to have a good, firm understanding of what we want our team to be. is therefore working in this direction. It was an excellent first step. “
This highlights what the Celtics hope to see from Edwards this week. He has physical gifts (his lack of height aside), and he can certainly put the ball in the basket. But the Celtics want their players to operate as part of their defensive concepts to better prepare them for the regular season. The Summer League promise is beautiful, but rookies need to show more than promise to be on the field for a good team during the regular season.
“He has to keep working to play the stocks the way we train him to play them,” Lawson said. “So it might not be something you notice, but he could, from a ploy perspective, defend an action inappropriately.” It wouldn’t look at the eyes, but it would do it in a different way, so that’s the kind of thing we’re working on, and we’ll be watching the movie.
The good news for the Celtics: Lawson doesn’t anticipate any issues with Edwards’ enthusiasm or work ethic.
“He’s sharp and he really wants it,” she said. “It is very easy to work with him in this regard, because you don’t have to motivate Carsen. He comes motivated every day, so yes, as I know him more and more, I have only been with him for a long time. week, but as I see him more and more, you see glimpses of a young man. …
“It’s the first game so I really wanted to see him play with the same energy and confidence he did at Purdue because it’s a big leap for players to go from college to pro,” even though it’s the Summer League and not the full NBA. So that was the first thing I looked for, and just kind of body language, and how it seemed to feel. so made him really happy that he was in this right place. ”
Offensively, the Celtics just want to see more of the same for now. Once the regular season is over Edwards may need to be more judicious in his shooting selection, but the Summer League is a place where rookies need to be aggressive.
“I would much rather have to control someone a little more than spin them,” Lawson said. “He wants to have an impact on the game, he wants to be aggressive. We just have to harness this in the right way, and he has a chance to help for us. “