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Celtics’ Romeo Langford: ‘I’ve Shown That I’m Capable’
However, for Romeo, who, on paper, may have two full seasons of NBA experience under his belt, still admittedly feels more like a rookie than a third-year pro.
“I feel like I really haven’t shown anything that I’m capable of doing,” Langford said during his media availability after practice. “Coming into the NBA, I wasn’t really known as a defender but I feel like I’ve shown that I’m capable of playing defense, playing it really good. So, that’s just an add-on to what I’m capable of doing. Knowing that I’ve been hurt my whole career every summer and not this is my first summer where I’m not hurt and able to be healthy, have no surgeries; stuff like that.
“Being able to play the whole season, I feel like is really like more so my rookie year just because of all the setbacks and things that took place in my career, thus far.”
2020-21 was riddled with one setback after another for Langford. After a thumb injury delayed his Celtics debut, ankle sprains kept him sidelined for most of the 2019-20 campaign and into an offseason wrist surgery that prolonged his return to March 2021.
Then, Romeo tested positive for COVID-19. He played in18 games last season. However, Langford showed progress — which fortunately for the Celtics, translated on both ends of the floor.
Romeo Langford Back at Full-Strength: ‘I’m Making Big Strides’
He demonstrated his versatility in Boston’s best-of-7, first-round series against Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and the Brooklyn Nets, including Game 5 where he scored 17 points on 7-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from deep to go with a pair of blocks and steals.
“It’s my first real, full summer where I’ve just been able to work out and just work on the things that I need to work on without worrying about anything,” Langford said. “I feel like I’m progressing really well. I feel like I’m making big strides in all the aspects that the team and myself wants to work on.”
The work has already begun. Knowing that the opportunity for an increased role is certainly available for Romeo, especially in the wake of the Kemba Walker trade, the young prospect with only 50 games of NBA experience to his name is taking on the challenge.
He’s been spending time with Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzula, who will be coaching Boston’s Summer League team.
“The main thing about me and Joe (Mazzulla) is just working on being more comfortable with the ball in my hands so I can be a secondary ballhandler,” Langford said. “Also, just getting more shots and game shots and shooting more than I’m comfortable with — that’s the main focus between us going into Summer League.”