Ainge, Stevens praise James Young's improved defense

Despite a successful D-League season, James Young looks to improve from an underwhelming rookie season with Boston.

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens both were singing the former 2014 17th overall pick's praise this morning while talking to the media for the work he has put in of the defensive side of the ball.

Even though Ainge and Stevens were pumping up his defensive development, the 20 year old has the potential, and was drafted, to be a big scoring threat for Boston averaging 21.5 points, 2 assists and 1.5 steals per game for the Maine Red Claws.

However, there was a wall that Young struggled to break through; The NBA.

His potential didn't really break through on NBA courts playing in 31 games for the C's only averaging 3.4 points a game. The thing that excites Celtics fans about Young is just that; his youth. 

You can't expect too much from a teenager playing professional basketball, but you hope he just learns from the experience. Over the offseason, it was publicized how Young gained 20 pounds of muscle to improve his defense and compete with the NBA bodies on a night-in-and-night-out basis and it seemed to pay off during Summer League.


Young struggled to flash his true potential due to a nagging knee injury, but averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds a game. This year, it's hard to project what the Kentucky product will do, but he'll be given a shot to make an impact for this team off the bench and, if he does progress defensively, he could see time at the two guard and small forward position given his 6'7 frame.

So far, he's off to a good start.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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