Boston Celtics "Cool Hand" Luke Harangody Surprises in Orlando Summer League

Frances White@WestEndGirl62Analyst IIJuly 11, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 06:  Luke Harangody #44 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Hartford Hall of Fame Showcase on December 6, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Ohio State won 67-62.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Orlando Summer League may have opened the eyes of many NBA executives around the league to the skills of Luke Harangody.  

Harangody backed out of last year's draft because he was projected to be a second rounder.  This year the same doubts about him surfaced and he was unable to bolster his draft stock.  

The Celtics took him with the 52nd pick, knowing that it was a low-risk, high reward type of deal.

Danny Ainge continues to find basketball talent in the later rounds that can pay immediate dividends for the Boston Celtics.  

The decision to draft Luke Harangody may just add to the lore of Ainge's evaluation of talent.

At first glance, he looks like a character right out of the classic movie Hoosiers.  Watch him play and you can almost imagine hearing Gene Hackman on the side lines yelling, "Get the ball to Harangody!"  

The team would comply, setting a series of baseline picks freeing him up; Haragody would make the shot and become a legend and hero in Hoosier history.

This burly barrel-chested forward has a similar upper-build to McHale and I dare say a Bird-like hard-hat mentality. He doesn't let injury stop him; he received several stitches from an inadvertent Alexi Ajinca elbow.  

Luke continued to throw his weight around in the paint and actually rebounded at a decent clip.  He finished summer league play averaging over 15 points and 6 rebounds a game. 

Put him on any one of the Celtic teams of the '60s and he would probably be a Red Auerbach favorite because of his gritty play. In fact, Celtics management now may have two players whose game can be compared to the '60s era style players—Rajon Rondo is the other.

Rondo has a Cousy-style aptitude for getting the ball to players with a flair and now Harangody, who hails back to a time when athletes remained earth-bound and two handed push-shots were all the rage.

He still doesn't have the lateral quickness to be a lockdown, one-on-one defender, but the Celtics defensive scheme does not require him to be one.

He has a fundamentally sound approach to the game.  He utilizes the pump-fake very well and has a surprisingly quick first-step.

His solid performance may just mean that the days of using Brian Scalabrine as a human victory cigar in Celtic blowout wins are over. Harangody is a better player than Scalabrine will ever be.

Scalabrine has the smarts but was a major liability on the court because of his lack of athleticism.  Luke has the slight edge over Brian in that department, not to mention a sweeter and more reliable jumpshot from beyond the arc.

Harangody may never be an NBA superstar but if he could duplicate what he did this summer when matched up against real NBA talent, he will be able to be more than a marginal rotation player for the Celtics.

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