Aaron Nesmith‘s rookie season saw him go from the end of the Celtics‘ bench to a spot in their playoff rotation and he’s hoping to make a greater impact in his second year, writes Brian Robb of MassLive. The 14th pick in the 2020 draft was dealing with a foot injury when last season started, and he had to adjust to the NBA during a short offseason with no Summer League. The swingman eventually settled into a consistent role and shot 50% from the field and 42% from three-point range over the final two months of the season.
“It was definitely a quick turnaround from the moment I got drafted,” Nesmith said. “The season started and I didn’t get a lot of preparation or many chances to get my feet wet. Coming off the injury and not being able to play 5-on-5 for almost a year, that definitely was a whirlwind. It also taught me a lot of good lessons as well. It taught me how to adjust faster and adapt to a new system, a new level of play very quickly so if there was ever a point in time where I have to adapt very quickly again, I already know how to do it and I have a layout to do it as well.”
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Rookie forward Scottie Barnes introduced himself to Raptors fans with a first-hand piece on The Players Tribune. The No. 4 overall pick out of Florida State states that he was quickly embraced by the Toronto fanbase and gained about 80-100K new followers on social media within 24 hours of being drafted. He shares experiences from Summer League and draft night and says there was one message he wanted to deliver in his first post-draft meeting with the Raptors’ front office. “I’m ready to work,” he wrote. “Not ease into it, not half-do things or make excuses because I’m one of the new guys. I’m ready to work. I’m ready to grind. I’m ready to WIN. And I could tell that the feeling was definitely mutual.”
- Knicks forward Kevin Knox is about to enter the most important season of his NBA career, observes David Vertsberger of Yahoo Sports. Knox is now the longest-tenured player on New York’s roster, but unless he finds a way to become a contributor, this could be his last season with the team.
- Luca Vildoza returned to the Knicks this week to let team doctors examine his injured right foot before the start of training camp, per Alder Almo of Empire Sports Media. The injury limited Vildoza to two games during Summer League, and he was prescribed rest and treatment rather than surgery. He also played for Argentina during the Summer Olympics.