Kings vs. Celtics Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet NBA Summer League Championship Game (Tuesday, Aug. 17)
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Davion Mitchell.
Kings vs. Celtics Odds
|Moneyline||+118 / -142|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday night and via FanDuel.|
The NBA Summer League is an exciting time for the league. We get our first looks at the top rookies of this year’s draft class, but it’s also an opportunity for bench players and rookies to showcase their skills to potentially earn a chance for expanded playing time, or even a roster spot, for the upcoming season.
The Summer League’s format differed this year, where the two teams with the best record in four games were placed in the championship. A tie was determined by point differential. This set us up with the Celtics and Kings, while the Timberwolves and the Pelicans were left on the outside looking in.
While a Summer League Championship is not indicative of a team’s NBA Title chances, it can give us some insight on their future and potential rotations in the upcoming season.
Mitchell Impressing in Summer League
The Sacramento Kings selected Davion Mitchell with the No. 9 pick out of Baylor, and he’s played well throughout the Summer League.
Mitchell really made his mark on the defensive side of the ball, which is no surprise. He won the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award and his defense helped lead the Bears to a national championship.
Not only will he be a spark plug for this Kings team throughout the season, but he should have an impact in this championship game. Besides his defensive prowess, Mitchell has impressed with averages of 11.3 points, 5.5 assists and one steal in 25 minutes per game, per NBA.com.
Of note, the Kings will be without big man Chimezie Metu who was suspended for the championship game after punching the Mavericks‘ Eugene Omoruyi of the on Sunday. This is significant considering Metu has secured 6.8 rebounds while swiping two steals per game and scoring 10 points in Summer League. He had carved out a role in the Kings’ rotations towards the end of the season, as well, so his presence will be missed.
The key here is the coaching. Bobby Jackson coaches the Stockton Kings of the NBA G League and is leading the King’s Summer League team. This is an opportunity for him but he’s also crucial for the development of some of these young players. He is working to improve his craft and will not leave anything on the table as he pushes the Kings towards a Summer League Championship.
Pritchard Dominating Summer League
The Boston Celtics might finally get some hardware to show for all the draft capital they had compiled in the Danny Ainge era. They have the best average point differential in the Summer League (+21.0).
Payton Pritchard has set the world on fire and has demonstrated that he is far too good for this environment. In his three Summer League games he has averaged 20.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 8.7 assists while shooting an absurd 57.7% from 3 point range, per NBA.com.
After three impressive games Pritchard left Vegas to play in the Portland Pro-Am and we thought we would not see him again. He dropped 92 — yes, that’s ninety-two, it’s not a typo — in a game then followed that up with a 60-point performance.
Now, with the Celtics in the Championship, Pritchard has said he will return to Vegas to play. But considering the Celtics may rather see some of the other role players, we can’t be sure just how many minutes (if any) he’ll get.
Regardless, this development from Pritchard is awesome. He’s a microwave scorer who logged 117.8 points per 100 shot attempts last season, per Cleaning the Glass. We always knew he could score.
The bigger development is the assists. While his role was different last season, he only averaged 1.8 assists per game. If he can take on a bigger playmaking responsibility for the Celtics this season he should see more minutes on the court.
There’s reason to believe this can happen. Although the Celtics acquired Dennis Schroder in free agency, Pritchard saw his minutes increase by four per game last season when Kemba Walker missed time, and his assists per game increased to 2.5, as well.
If you’re holding Pritchard stock, you should be excited.
Another Summer League winner for the Celtics is Aaron Nesmith. While he finished the season strong his play in Summer League has shown a few developments.
Nesmith is averaging 18.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game on 51.7% shooting while firing seven 3-pointers per game. He’s a chaotic defender and if he can continue his hot shooting, he would provide significant depth off the bench for the Celtics this season.
This should be a fun game to cap off the Summer League between two teams with exciting young talent.
The Kings will look to see continued improvements from not only Mitchell, but also second-year guard Jahmi’us Ramsey, who is averaging a team-high 16.3 points per game. He only played in 13 games as a rookie, so a strong finish may be critical for Ramsey’s playing time this season.
On the other hand, the Celtics have decimated teams with an offensive barrage. Maybe we will see another high-scoring game from Pritchard, but it’s much more likely that the Celtics either limit his minutes or we see him facilitating the offense and setting up his teammates.
Regardless, even when Pritchard did not play in the Celtics’ fourth Summer League game, they were able to win with ease.
Both teams should be excited about some of the building blocks they’ve assembled for their future but for tonight’s contest, I’ll back the Celtics to take home the championship. They have the depth and some established NBA talent on the roster to lead them to a victory.
Pick: Celtics -2.5