Celtics Lead

Langford’s Potential Still There Despite Slow Start


With the 14th pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected Romeo Langford, a 6-6 shooting guard from Indiana. After an impressive freshman year for the Hoosiers, many believed Danny Ainge secured a draft steal. Langford hasn’t lived up to the hype, however, as he has barely played all season because of injuries. This rather disappointing start to his career puts into question what his potential really is for the Celtics. Let’s analyze his college career and explore the possible reasons for this slow start.

Impressive College Career

Romeo Langford only played a single year in college while putting up impressive numbers. Behind his smooth ball-handling and soft shooting touch, Langford scored consistently for Indiana in seemingly effortless fashion. In his lone season with IU, Romeo averaged 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The Hoosiers unfortunately disappointed last season after failing to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Langford played with an injured thumb, however, which leads some to believe that a healthy Romeo might have led his team to a better season.

Langford has the perfect build for the NBA with a 6-11 wingspan combined with incredible athleticism. Although he was injured for a large part of the season, Romeo’s talent shined tremendously under the bright lights of the NCAA. This impressed the Celtics’ front office enough to choose him as the team’s highest pick of the 2019 Draft.

Rough Start

Langford’s rookie season has been plagued by injuries. He missed the start of the season because of a right knee sprain and was sent to Boston’s G-League affiliate in Maine in order to ease his comeback. Langford put up a solid performance of 27 points and six blocks in his first G-League game. Sadly, he faced another setback when he tweaked his ankle in a following game for the Red Claws. Due to Langford’s high expectations paired with a lack of playing time, some were quick to call him a bust. This may be understandable since fans barely saw him on the court, but Boston doesn’t seem to be ready to give up on him just yet.

A Glimpse of Hope

The recent injuries to Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart have allowed the rookie to get some playing time. In the Celtics’ win against Detroit, Langford finally scored his first NBA basket, and Ainge was quick to congratulate him.

This smooth floater was followed by two decent performances at TD Garden. Romeo scored six points on 60 percent shooting in the first game against the Pistons, followed by a eight-point, six-rebound performance on 50 percent shooting. Langford impressed the audience by sinking two three pointers, something that hadn’t happened all season. It seems obvious that once Langford gets comfortable in the NBA, he will become a solid and consistent shot creator.

What the Future Holds

Romeo Langford’s future in the NBA depends on one thing: health. Had he started healthy, Langford may already be a solid scorer in the league. Ainge took a gamble by drafting him– a risk that will hopefully pay off. If the rookie continues to get some time on the floor, his confidence will start to build up, which may allow him to be a solid contributor for Boston this season. The Celtics need consistent scoring off the bench and Langford may be the solution. Overall, the 20-year-old Indiana native has tremendous potential if he can gain experience on the court.

What about the other rookies?

Since we’re talking about Langford, it seems necessary to quickly summarize the other Celtic rookies’ seasons thus far. Carsen Edwards has been rather disappointing since his stellar 30-point performance against the Cavaliers in the preseason. However, anyone who has seen him play knows he has the potential to be an automatic flamethrower from the three-point line. All he needs is the right mindset.

We couldn’t omit mentioning Tacko Fall, the Senegalese giant who finally graced the parquet of the TD Garden in the aforementioned wins against Detroit and Charlotte. The fan favorite has been bringing smiles to NBA fans around the world, which is what basketball is all about.

The best rookie this season has been, without any doubt, Grant Williams. He plays with tremendous heart and effort, much like teammate Marcus Smart. Despite his lack of size in the front court, he has played solid minutes in green, bringing an aggressive defensive presence the team desperately needs.

To conclude this article, here is the best Celtics rookie moment of the year, brought to you by none other than Tacko Fall.

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About Walyd Mekki-Berrada

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