LAS VEGAS — Kara Lawson has much to teach Carsen Edwards about demands on the next level, but the art of creating space for his jump shot is not on her punch list.

“That comes pretty natural to him,” the Celtics assistant coach said. “You watch his clips from Purdue, he did the same thing — he just creates space really, really well. He has the ability to get his shot off with a defender in close proximity, with a defender’s length in close proximity. That doesn’t seem to bother his shot at all. Shooting is a premium in the NBA, and then to do it contested and make it with a good degree of regularity, that’s a good asset to have as a player coming in.”

It’s an improbable asset, too, though for as long as Edwards has heard that his 6-foot frame isn’t cut out for making it as an NBA shooting guard, he’s generally responded with big performances.

He had two 42-point nights in the NCAA tournament, including a second-round display against Villanova that drew its power from nine 3-pointers. He one-upped that total during an overtime loss to Virginia in the Elite Eight, shooting 10-for-19 from downtown, this time with DeAndre Hunter as part of the defensive rotation sent out to somehow cool down Edwards.

Didn’t matter. Open shots, contested shots, Edwards seemed to hit them all, and at high volume. He ultimately shot 28-for-61 (.459), averaged seven made 3’s and 15.25 attempts over four tournament games.

So the size of the stage, as well as the opponent, doesn’t seem to matter, though Edwards downplays his nascent big game reputation.

“I wouldn’t say that. I just try to play and be effective every single game,” he said.

And though Edwards’ tournament performance may have increased his national celebrity, he already was well past proving anything to himself.

“Nah, it didn’t. I’m just working to improve,” he said. “I didn’t learn anything about myself in the tournament. Just try to work, try to prepare to have a decent tournament.”

Lawson points to another aspect of Edwards’ size as an indicator of why he’s consistently able to create room, and allow his quick release to take care of the rest.

“He has great range, tremendous strength, you look at his body, his legs, his upper body – for him to shoot and maintain his form, he can do that from very deep,” she said. “He does have a great deal of confidence because he’s put the time in. We want him to play confidently, but we want him to take the right kind of shots.

“So the challenge, not just for Carsen, is teaching him within our system what those right kinds of shots are,” Lawson said. “Every shot he took, and where he can improve, eliminate one or two of those questionable shots — but you can see out there. He’s going to be somebody who can produce while he’s on the court.”

It helps that Edwards had a scorer’s mindset from the start. He shoots with impunity, dares the competition to find someone long and quick enough to disrupt him. His father, James, famously told him at a young age that he had to be fearless with the ball if he was going to succeed on the game’s top level.

“He didn’t necessarily say that to be successful I needed to score. He was like, if I wanted to be able to play at a high level, I have to be able to score and do a lot of different things,” Edwards said. “Being able to score gets you noticed. But around middle school he was like, I’ll be confident if I’m able to score the ball efficiently.”

That meant finding space, and increasing his range. Edwards’ first appearance as a Celtic – his 20-point performance during the team’s summer league-opening win against Philadelphia included shots from all over the floor, including deep pull-ups – mapped it all out. Thanks to that quick release, he found a way to get his shot off, regardless of the defender thrown at him.

Heading into Game 4 tonight against Memphis, Edwards is averaging 19.0 points and shooting 48 percent from downtown — a number almost identical to his 3-point efficiency in the NCAA tournament.

“It’s not even separation, really. For me it’s having a quick release as well,” Edwards said. “If you’re able to get your shot off, with as much space as you can get, that’s most important, especially at my size. Being able to change speeds helps with separation, but if you’re not able to get the separation you want, you can still get your shot off. The release has to be quick, and that’s mainly what I focus on.”

He shrugged when asked about his range. Think about some of those deep shots against Villanova and Virginia.

“I don’t know — I feel pretty confident from deep. I don’t feel that range is really an issue for me,” he said. “But I’m trying to find ways to become a better shooter. A couple of dribbles inside the halfcourt line, I feel pretty comfortable.”

Ultimately the Celtics also need Edwards to find someone else once he’s a couple of dribbles inside the halfcourt line, with an open shot available. The playmaking part of his game didn’t get as much exposure — he averaged just under three assists in his sophomore and junior years — but Lawson sees progress here.

She also points to how conditions will change once Edwards starts playing with a more mature and demanding cast in training camp.

“He has playmaking capabilities in his game. We’ve been able to see that in practices,” she said. “At Purdue he was asked to score a lot, so that’s mostly what we saw. But he can make reads, he can play off ball screen actions, so he’s very capable of doing that. And I imagine when we get to camp, with the talent that will be on this team, he understands to make the right play.

“In summer league we need him to score more,” Lawson said. “With this group we need him to be aggressive. He has a malleable game I think that can change when he gets around our big group and our veteran group, and he’s shown in practice that he can make reads.”

And with the arrival of that veteran group, and a world class defender such as Marcus Smart, Edwards understands his quick release won’t be the answer for everything.

“I don’t think I can get it off on everybody. I’m still trying to get better,” he said. “Still just working, not even just scoring. Keep my confidence to make shots, and deal with what the defense gives me to make good decisions.”