Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

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Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by bobheckler on Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:48 am

https://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/offseason-post-070718-bird-proves-that-he-can-soar-above-the-competition-in-vegas?sf193322948=1




Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas



By Marc D'Amico |  @Marc_DAmico
Celtics.com
July 8, 2018




LAS VEGAS – The Celtics saw potential in Jabari Bird when they drafted him 56th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft and then signed him to one of their very first two-way contracts. Now, as Bird plays for the Summer Celtics as a restricted free agent, the rest of the league is witnessing some of that potential budding into legitimate talent.

Bird was the best player on the floor Saturday night, as the Celtics fell 82-69 to the Denver Nuggets. The second-year wing scored a game-high 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting. He drew oos and ahhs from the crowd with many of his dazzling finishes in the paint, which, from a hang time perspective, were on par with the likes of the great Michael Jordan.

“I mean I idolized MJ growing up,” Bird said with a big smile after being asked about his athletic, MJ-esque finishes. “I watched all of his highlights when he was with the Bulls. He’s just somebody I’ve tried to mold my game after a little bit.”

Bird wasn’t on MJ’s level Saturday night, and he’s unlikely to ever reach such heights, but he was unquestionably the best player on the court while Boston and Denver battled it out.

This performance was no flash-in-the-pan effort by Bird, either. As Summer Celtics head coach Jay Larranaga said after Saturday’s game, “Jabari has done that in NBA games, at the end of the season … He’s an excellent cutter. He’s an excellent shooter.”

He showcased those skills – and then some – Saturday night.

Bird earned every point that he scored against Denver. This wasn’t a performance during which he simply capitalized on open shots; instead, this was a performance during which he was creating his own offense off of the dribble and via off-the-ball cuts before finding a way to finish in traffic in the paint.

Bird, who played all of last season under a two-way contract with the Celtics, is currently a restricted free agent. He said that he is not worrying about that status and is instead concentrating on enjoying the moment and capitalizing on his opportunity to don the green and white in Vegas.

“Just try to have fun with it, that’s the main thing,” said Bird, who is always a ball of positive energy. “I’ve worked hard all summer, I’ve worked hard all my life, and I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves on the court. And I’m just thankful to be with a great organization right now, and they’re letting me showcase my skills.”

While Bird has looked great on offense during two Summer League games, having averaged 19.0 points per game, Larranaga sees an opportunity for improvement. That growth will be earned at the defensive end, the coach explained.

“He’s growing as a defender, which I think is going to be the next big step for him,” said Larranaga.

Expanding on the topic, the coach soon added, “We talk to the group a lot about efficiency. I think in the media and in the league you hear a lot about offensive efficiency and field goal percentage and all of that, but I think defensive efficiency in how you defend the court, how many steps does it take you to stunt at a shooter. And then also just in the preparation of knowing what your opponent is trying to do and knowing his best [ability] is something everyone can get better at.”

Bird’s future growth at the defensive end may help him to earn a role in the NBA. For now, his offensive game is what’s doing the talking in Vegas, and it’s making the Celtics look like geniuses for snagging the athletic and talented wing at the tail-end of last year’s Draft.




bob


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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by wideclyde on Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:51 am

It is summer league, but he does look much more fluid than Nader.

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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by KyleCleric on Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:52 am

wideclyde wrote:It is summer league, but he does look much more fluid than Nader.

I wish they were better defensive players and shooters.

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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by worcester on Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:25 pm

Bird vs. Nader? No contest.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by kdp59 on Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:46 pm

IF Smart leaves Bird would likely get a shot I think.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by dboss on Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:01 pm

Bird had another solid game last night.

16 points in 7-11 Fga, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. He was also 2-2 from deep.

Bird looks to me like a low cost keeper that can be a rotation guy at the 2.

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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by jrleftfoot on Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:57 pm

Bird has the athleticism to play D and he seems to have a non-stop motor.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by cowens/oldschool on Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:40 am

jrleftfoot wrote:Bird has the athleticism to play D and he seems to have a non-stop motor.

At 6’6” he seems to have no problem finishing, definitely improving and has the talent to make a mark in this league it would seem.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by dboss on Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:54 pm

Bird with another solid showing yesterday.

This is just Summer league so we would be wise to keep things in prospective.

However the positive things that we are seeing from Bird seems to confirm what we saw from him in limited activity last season.  He looks even more polished now.  He does not rush things and is reading the defense.  He has done a very good job creating for himself and other teammates.  He leads the team in both scoring and rebounds and is second in assists behind PG Henry.

The Smart contract situation needs to get settled so that Boston can resign Bird.  His play during these summer games could stimulate interest from other teams that have the bi-annual and MLE exceptions available to snatch him away from Boston.

I would bet money that the Celtics have told him to be patient because they want to retain his services.  However this kid was living off of a cheap 2-way deal last year and has to be excited to get a new contract. Let's hope that his indulgence will last for a while longer.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by dboss on Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:58 pm

The Celtics extended a QO to Bird on June 28th but it was another two way contract. If he signs the offer the Celtics would be able to match another teams offer. If he does not sign then he is an UFA

https://www.celticsblog.com/2018/6/28/17516796/report-boston-celtics-tender-qualifying-offer-to-jabari-bird-2018-nba-free-agency
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by gyso on Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:18 pm

The unspoken elephant in the room is the Robert "Don't call me Bob" Williams situation. We were so excited to see what he can do on the court. Time is running out on the summer league for that.

Perhaps with the now-public leg artery issue and his balky knee (tendinitis?) it would be better in the long run to have him go under the knife and take care of all of these issues at once. He could possibly get back before mid season at full strength for the run to the playoffs.

I have no clue as to the recovery time he will face, but our team as constructed can hold down the fort as long as it takes. He isn't the "now" as much as he is the "future" so lets get him started out on the right foot.

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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by dboss on Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:37 pm

gyso wrote:The unspoken elephant in the room is the Robert "Don't call me Bob" Williams situation.  We were so excited to see what he can do on the court.  Time is running out on the summer league for that.

Perhaps with the now-public leg artery issue and his balky knee (tendinitis?) it would be better in the long run to have him go under the knife and take care of all of these issues at once.  He could possibly get back before mid season at full strength for the run to the playoffs.

I have no clue as to the recovery time he will face, but our team as constructed can hold down the fort as long as it takes.  He isn't the "now" as much as he is the "future" so lets get him started out on the right foot.  

gyso

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I have been trying to find information about the recovery time after surgery for PAES. I have seen nothing that indicates a long term rehabilitative process. I think a midterm return to the team seems pessimistic.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by worcester on Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:50 pm

I can't imagine it being longer than six weeks.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by dboss on Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:16 pm

worcester wrote:I can't imagine it being longer than six weeks.

With that in mind we should expect him to be ready by training camp if the medical staff recommends surgery right now.

The Celtics have a tendency to try and manage medical issues rather than correct them (Sullinger, IT, Irving) In the end, surgery becomes necessary at the most inopportune time.
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Re: Bird Proves That He Can Soar Above the Competition in Vegas

Post by gyso on Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:09 pm

dboss wrote:
gyso wrote:The unspoken elephant in the room is the Robert "Don't call me Bob" Williams situation.  We were so excited to see what he can do on the court.  Time is running out on the summer league for that.

Perhaps with the now-public leg artery issue and his balky knee (tendinitis?) it would be better in the long run to have him go under the knife and take care of all of these issues at once.  He could possibly get back before mid season at full strength for the run to the playoffs.

I have no clue as to the recovery time he will face, but our team as constructed can hold down the fort as long as it takes.  He isn't the "now" as much as he is the "future" so lets get him started out on the right foot.  

gyso

gyso

I have been trying to find information about the recovery time after surgery for PAES.  I have seen nothing that indicates a long term rehabilitative process.  I think a midterm return to the team seems pessimistic.  

Dboss,

After reading W's estimate of six weeks for the PAES, that is reassuring. I am lead to believe there might be another issue, that being what is causing the tendonitis in his knee? I also think there was a red flag in regards to his knee or knees pre-draft.

So I lumped both issues together. You might be right, mid-season return may be pessimistic, but after getting burned so many times with injuries and recovery times, I do not want to be too optimistic.

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