Yam Madar Impressive In Debut, Helps Spark Summer Celtics To Win Over Hawks
BOSTON (CBS) -- Yam Madar was one of the most intriguing players heading into the Celtics' Summer League slate. The point guard did not disappoint in his first game in green, dazzling for stretches against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday afternoon.
Madar gave the Summer Celtics an instant shot of energy when he checked in midway through the first quarter on Sunday, and finished with eight points off 4-for-6 shooting over his 17 minutes of action. Boston was trailing 10-0 when Madar first took the floor, but his play helped spark a 17-2 run by the Celtics.
The 20-year-old drained his first shot -- Boston's first bucket of the game -- and played some pesky defense throughout his debut. He said that his goal was to do whatever the team needed in order to win, and in Sunday's case, it was bring energy and play some tough defense.
"It was the defense today that I tried to bring from the bench, bring some energy to the floor and help the guys on the floor to bring some extra push," said Madar. "I'm happy, it was good."
"Just finding his niche," Celtics Summer League coach Joe Mazzulla said of Madar. "I think he's great in pick-and-roll, he's aggressive, and just trigger happy with making the right read. That was one of the points of emphasis for him, was 'Can he make the right read over and over again?' After Wednesday's practice he did a tremendous job the rest of the week making good reads and, tonight, I thought he did the same thing."
The Celtics took Madar in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft out of Israel. He was stashed in Europe last year to hone in on his skills, many of which were on display Sunday afternoon. His energy was noticeable from the second he stepped on the floor, as Madar got his hands on a number of balls on the defensive end, and he kept the ball moving on offense. The Celtics were a plus-11 with Madar on the floor in the first quarter.
His prettiest basket came in the third quarter, when Madar faked a three and drove to the hoop, finishing with a beautiful high floater to pull Boston within three points.
Boston won 85-83 on a game-winning three from Romeo Langford. Point guard Payton Pritchard also sank a late three to help lift the C's to victory, scoring a game-high 23 points for Boston.
But it was Madar who stole the show in his debut, something that could become a regular occurrence over the next week in Las Vegas. Upon arriving in Boston from Europe last month, Madar said that his goal was to make the Celtics this year.
Sunday was a good first step in accomplishing that goal.
"Amazing, it was a dream come true. Wearing that Celtics jersey is amazing," Madar said Sunday. "It's a blessing for me and my family to represent them. It was great."
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