The Boston Celtics had high expectations for Evan Fournier. They acquired him using the hefty trade exception gained in the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade, essentially making him Hayward’s replacement as Boston’s playmaking third wing. Considering his excellent shooting numbers and success in running an undermanned Orlando Magic team, that plan looked sound on paper. If nothing else, things can’t possibly get any worse than they were on Monday.
Fournier made his debut for the Celtics against the New Orleans Pelicans and missed all 10 of his shot attempts in 33 minutes. He did not score a single point and the Celtics were outscored by 12 points with him on the floor. Considering the six-point margin in the loss, Fournier’s poor night might have cost Boston a victory. Aesthetically, he wasn’t even close on several shots. He air-balled at least one attempt, and another may have grazed the rim only slightly. You be the judge.
Fournier is just the fourth player in the shot-clock era to shoot 0-for-10 or worse in his debut with a new team, according to ESPN Stats & Info. StatMuse also added that Fournier’s 33 minutes are the most for any scoreless Celtic with at least 10 shot attempts during the 3-point era.
Kemba Walker defended his new teammate after the game. “It’s difficult coming to a new team, trying to play well, trying to remember the plays and new system,” Walker told reporters. “At the end of the day, c’mon now, we all know how good Evan is.”
Walker is ultimately correct. Fournier is still adjusting to Boston. He will be better with time, and should ultimately be a major part of Boston’s core. But his first night in green and white was certainly one he’d rather forget.