The No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft played in his first exhibition matchup at the pro level Tuesday night in the Celtics’ 108-99 preseason loss against the Philadelphia 76ers. With 7:07 left to play in the third quarter, Nesmith checked in for Javonte Green, and then it didn’t take long for Aaron to attempt his first 3-pointer in the NBA.
From the elbow, Grant Williams found Nesmith in the corner before he set a screen – that picked-off Sixers defender Ben Simmons – and created just enough space for Nesmith to let it fly. The rookie’s 3-pointer swished through the net.
“It was fun, you know, just getting out there to play with my teammates and play the game of basketball at a high level,” Nesmith said Wednesday after practice. “It’s just something I’ve been looking forward for a long time. So, it’s a lot of fun being able to get back out there.”
Aaron Nesmith’s Rookie Growing Pains: ‘Having To Learn Pretty Fast, The Head Spins Every Now And Then’
Nesmith tallied 8 points, 5 rebounds, and one block in 19 minutes Tuesday night in Philly. He finished the second half of the game after checking in and says the pace of the game is a lot to get used to, however, he’s looking forward to learning and discovering the best ways he can help his team win.
“Just adjusting to the game, different level of competition, different speed, being tossed in pretty fast and having to learn pretty fast, the head spins every now and then,” Nesmith said. “But it’s just how quickly and how well you can slow the game down and help your teammates win games and make winning plays.”
Aaron Nesmith On Strength & Conditioning: ‘The Stronger You Can Be, The Easier It Is’
Nesmith says one big advantage that’s helped him ascend since his early teenage years is his strength and conditioning regimen. It’s an attribute Aaron says will ultimately make life in the NBA easier for the rookie.
He attributed his success as a basketball player to the emphasis made on workouts and conditioning in the gym.
“I started working on it in high school,” Nesmith explained. “It was one of the things that helped me make the biggest jump in my game. Strength is very much underrated in basketball – it’s such a physical game. So, the stronger you can be, the easier it is, you know? Everybody in the NBA is strong, especially when you get down low with big 7-footers and all the postmen so you have to be able to hold your own.
“So, coming into the league I already naturally gifted, strength-wise and as long as I continue to add to that then I’ll be able to help my teammates on the boards and fighting down low.”