Celtics rookie Aaron Nesmith standing out with his hustle, hard play

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jacob Camenker
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Aaron Nesmith's hustle, hard play standing out to teammates originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Aaron Nesmith hasn't exactly been the knockdown shooter out of the gate that many thought he would be.

But the Vanderbilt product is still finding a way to impact the game.

After struggling to earn playing time over the team's first 25 games (he played in just 10), Nesmith has seen at least 19 minutes of action in four consecutive games.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Checking Danny Ainge’s to-do list, and a chat with Red Claws president Dajuan Eubanks | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

He's not setting the world on fire with his box score stats. He's averaging 4.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest over those four outings.

But the Celtics rookie is playing hard.

Every night, Nesmith seems to be making some sort of hustle play for the Celtics. He dives for loose balls. He aggressively goes after rebounds. He even had a big-time chase-down shot block against the Denver Nuggets.

In doing these things that don't always show up in the box score, Nesmith has brought an energy to the floor that the Celtics have sorely needed with Marcus Smart sidelined.

And Nesmith's teammates are noticing it.

"You see, by the way Aaron’s playing, he’s ferocious," center Tristan Thompson said, per MassLive.com's Brian Robb. "He’s out there. He’s getting over screens. He’s diving to loose balls. He’s cracking back on the bigs. He’s having multiple efforts in the defense of coverages.

"You love that. I think he’s got to keep doing that. Because that’s how you earn your minutes, especially when you’re playing behind to All-Stars in the wing."

And the All-Star teammates that Thompson referenced have come away impressed with Nesmith's performance as well.

"Obviously, he’s super talented," Jayson Tatum said of Nesmith, per Robb. "And just how hard he plays, that’s the thing that really stands out to me on both ends."

Nesmith definitely deserves this praise. Considering that he was primarily known as a shooter coming into the season, the fact that he has found a way to make an impact while shooting only 33.3 percent on the season (31.7 percent from 3-point range) is a good sign.

If he can continue to play this hard night in and night out, Nesmith should continue to make an impact for a Celtics team that needs some role players to step up on the wing. And it's fun to consider what the C's second unit may eventually look like with two hustle players like Smart and Nesmith playing together.

Should C's consider pursuing DeMarcus Cousins?

And what might be even more fun to consider? What the unit might look like when Nesmith's 3-ball starts to fall more frequently.