Celtics Prospect Impresses in Summer Debut: ‘He’s Got a Chance’

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Leading the young Boston Celtics on a pivotal 17-2 first-half run, Israeli prospect Yam Madar made his presence felt on both ends of the floor on Sunday.

From pressuring his opponents man-to-man the entire length of the court on one end to getting into the teeth of the defense and scoring with ease on the other, Madar’s diverse skillset was on full display.

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Yam Madar: ‘It’s a Dream Come True, Wearing That Celtics Jersey’

Coming off the bench and making an immediate impact, Yam sparked a turnaround that salvaged Boston from its early double-digit deficit and ultimately led the Celtics to an 85-83 win against the Atlanta Hawks.

“It’s a dream come true. Wearing that Celtics jersey is amazing,” Madar said after Sunday’s win. “It’s a blessing for me, for my family; representing them,” Madar said after the August 8 game. “It’s great.”

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla, who’s currently leading the Summer League Celtics, says taking care of the basketball by limiting turnovers is an early objective this summer. And for Madar, it’s something he’s keeping a close eye on.

“For him and our team, our first practice we turned the ball over a lot and today we only had 11,” Mazzulla said after Sunday’s win. “We did a great job taking care of the ball and his decision-making and his poise is the reason for it.”

Yam Madar: ‘Just Trying to Do Whatever I Can’

Madar finished with eight points, two rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes.

But, more importantly, his effort on both ends of the floor certainly exuded confidence and determination; the kind of effort that impacted the game throughout.

“I’m just trying to do whatever I can to try to help the team win,” Madar said during his postgame media availability. “So, it was the defense today that I tried to bring from the bench. Bring energy to the floor, helping guys that are on the floor right now; giving them an extra push.”

Joe Mazzulla on Madar: ‘Can Affect the Game Defensively & Offensively, He’s Got a Chance’

Starting point guard Payton Pritchard, who assisted the go-ahead 3-pointer that granted the Celtics a two-point lead (83-80) with only 11.1 seconds left to play, also talked about Madar’s impact after the 85-83 win.

“He turned it around for us — his energy, hit some tough shots, his box out, his defense, getting hands on balls,” Pritchard said after Sunday’s win. “He brought that energy, being active just kind of carried over for all of us.”

It’s all in a day’s work, for Madar. However, as coach Mazzulla pointed out; there’s still plenty left for the 20-year-old standout.

“I think his timing is next,” Mazzulla said about Madar. “I think he’s great in pick-and-roll; I think he’s aggressive and just trigger-happy with making the right read. And, that was a point of emphasis for him. Just making the right read, over and over. After Wednesday’s practice, he did a tremendous job the rest of the week of making good reads, and tonight I thought he did the same thing.

“Anytime a point guard can affect the game defensively and offensively, he’s got a chance.”


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