Rivers likes what he sees
LAS VEGAS — It seems the Celtics are recovering quite nicely from the loss of Ray Allen, and coach Doc Rivers can’t hide his satisfaction.
The Celtics have re-signed Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass, signed free agents Jason Terry, Jeff Green, and Chris Wilcox, and the acquisition of Courtney Lee through a sign-and-trade with the Rockets would give the Celtics a retooled roster.
Before Rivers watched the Celtics’ shorthanded summer league team on Thursday night — missing three players because of the trade — he offered his state of the franchise.
Rivers said he has been pleased with the team’s three recent draft picks — Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, and Kris Joseph.
“Sullinger has done what we thought he could do,” Rivers said. “He can pass. He can rebound. He can shoot jump shots. I think his scoring on the post will be against same size or smaller guys. I think he will struggle against bigger guys on the post. That’s fine. Kris Joseph is better than advertised. Fab is just a project that I think will be a player in this league at some point. I don’t think it will be next year.”
Rivers indicated that Avery Bradley will not be ready for training camp or perhaps even the start of the regular season.
“Avery’s great, but we’re not going to have him for a while,” Rivers said. “It’s going to be great to know we’re getting him back at some point. But we’re not going to rush him, and that’s going to be really important, that he not rush himself.”
Rivers added that Paul Pierce is recovering nicely from the sprained left knee he suffered during the playoffs.
“His knee will be fine,” Rivers said. “He should have not been playing [in the playoffs] to get healthy, and the only way you could get healthy with his knee was rest.’’
The Celtics played one of their worst games of the summer, allowing a 16-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters in a 91-82 loss to the Kings Thursday night. Boston shot just 39 percent and was again led in scoring by free agent Dionte Christmas, who had 19 points.
Sullinger again struggled from the field (2 for 7) and lost his matchup with Thomas Robinson, one of five Kings in double figures with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Sullinger was visibly frustrated by non-calls while on offense.
“I talked to him after the game and said, ‘You can’t get frustrated, you can’t drop your head and pout if things don’t go your way,’ ” said summer league coach Tyronn Lue.
Melo left in the third quarter after bruising his left hand while trying to block a dunk by Robinson. Melo said he would undergo X-rays as a precaution.