Dionte Christmas wants to prove that he can play in the NBA. Anyone that watched any of the Boston Celtics summer league games could clearly see that Christmas was playing not only for a roster spot on an NBA roster, but a role on a team once he gets a job. Christmas really impressed the coaching staff by showing the ability to play with energy, defend, run an NBA offense, pass, drive and score, and of course shoot the rock. Shooting is this man’s calling card if you have never seen the former Temple product. Christmas’s stats clearly reflect that as he averaged 14.2 points a game on a tremendous 47 percent shooting including 45 percent from down town during this summer. The Summer league proved that Christmas could play in this league was why the Boston Celtics rewarded him with a shot at his dream of playing in the NBA by signing him to a partially guaranteed deal. This signing means Christmas will earn a shot with the big club during training camp.
Dionte Christmas is an intriguing player for Boston. His game seems a perfect fit for Boston. Christmas is an aggressive defender that likes to get in his opponents space and agitate kind of like Avery Bradley. This defensive skill set might even earn him some minutes with his new head coach Doc Rivers. Offensively he is exactly what Boston wants in a guard. They want a guy that can stretch the floor with his shot from long range and still be solid from mid range. The good news is unlike guys like E’Twaun Moore and even Avery Bradley, Dionte looked comfortable running an offense. He was not perfect and there is clearly room for improvement, but he looked like a guy that could be molded because the foundation was clearly there. After watching the Summer league games, I realized that he was a much better fit than the recently departed E’Twaun Moore and that was probably why I was not too shocked that Boston was eager to part with the former second round pick.
I am also not numb to the fact that the odds of Dionte making an impact are not great. As it is right now he is the fifth guard on a deep roster. Even with Bradley possibly missing time that sits him fourth on the depth chart. This means playing time could be slim pick ins. However, injuries happen and opportunity could be just around the corner. Avery Bradley is an example of this fact. Bradley was buried on the depth chart until injuries to Ray Allen and then Mickael Pietrus forced Rivers to start playing him more minutes. The result of the expanded role was they found themselves a starting shooting guard that adds a lot to Boston. This could happen here with Christmas.
The bottom line is this is still a great story. This kid was not drafted despite being a shooting machine in college. Dionte then failed to land a gig with Philly and was forced to find work overseas the whole time never giving up on his dream of making the NBA. He played hard and earned a spot with the Boston Celtics. I just hope the story does not end there. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!