When the Boston Celtics drafted Aaron Nesmith last year, there was a sense that he could come in and make an impact as a rookie with his shot-making.
But instead of knocking down shots, Nesmith has been knocking down anyone in his path towards a loose ball – yes, Celtics teammates included.
It is a refreshing sight to see for a team that has played far too lethargic most of this season.
And it’s coming from a rookie whose hustle and all-out effort at both ends of the floor have been the strongest parts of his game, traits you didn’t hear talked much about by the Celtics after they drafted him or by scouts prior to the draft.
“So, I guess we kind of (expletive) this one up, right?” quipped an Eastern Conference scout. “No, seriously. I’m happy for him because it seems he has found a role with those guys now. It’s not the role we thought it would be or the role the Celtics thought it would be, but give him credit, he’s figured out a way to get on the floor which is huge for a rookie.”
Nesmith was considered the best shooter in the draft and has shown glimpses of being that guy. He’s connecting on 35.4 percent of his 3-pointers this season, although it has come in very limited minutes scattered across 38 games.
But it’s the little things such as diving for loose balls, rebounding from the wing position, and elevating the intensity level of his teammates, that has Nesmith in the Celtics’ regular rotation now.