Welcome to the NBADraftBlog.com Review of the NBA Summer League from Orlando. Check in each night has I review the teams and players performance each day. The first day had its highs and lows, but overall, the play was good and should get better as the players get used to each other in game situations. That being said, for all of my TWolves fans out there – Ndudi Ebi took a DNP- Coach’s Decision tonight.
Charlotte Bobcats 85 Utah Jazz 83
I only caught the 2nd half of this game, so I will wait until tomorrow before commenting on the players. I do want to point out that Gordon Hayward showed a lot of the good (playmaking, control) and bad (lacks aggression) that he showed at Butler. He looked very comfortable out there and I still expect a big week from him.
Indiana Pacers 86 Orlando Magic 77
Who Impressed – This game was all about Lance Stephenson (21 pts, 4 rebs, 3 asts). Stephenson spent a lot of time running the point for the Pacers and, aside from a little too much flashiness, he was very impressive. His court vision was spectacular, and his shot seemed to be dialed in from the perimeter as well. If he keeps this up all week, he may head into fall camp as the Pacers starting point guard. The other Pacers’ rookies, Paul George and Magnum Rolle, had their moments as well. George showed off his perimeter stroke in the first half, though he was quiet in the second half. When the ball wasn’t coming his way, he would try and force it once he touched it, and he also seemed to have problems with perimeter traps. Rolle ran the court well all game and showed the ability to put the ball down well in transition.
For the Magic, both Stanley Robinson and Patrick Ewing Jr. shook off rough starts to show off their great athleticism. Ewing Jr, playing for his dad here, showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the hoop, and a few times even stepped back to nail the three. Robinson had one monster jam off an offensive rebound and I expect a few more this week. Jeff Adrien was a monster in the lane, moving around players much bigger than he is. Donnell Taylor showed very good ability getting to the rim and was very active on the defensive end.
Not Impressed – I don’t know if there are enough words to describe how lost Daniel Orton seemed out there. Every time he wanted to set a screen, he moved (though this happened an awful lot today, players unfamiliar with each other); he was often out of position on both offense and defense; and finally got himself and Josh McRoberts (who was having a good game to this point) ejected in the 3rd. If you were to look at Jerome Randle’s stat line (8 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts) you might think it was a decent game. Decent is an overstatement. I am impressed by his speed, but he needs to get the “little man” chip off his shoulder, because he tries to force too many things he shouldn’t be doing.
For Indiana, Thomas Heurtel, the French point guard, was another one who tried to force too much. He is not good enough to dictate the flow of the game, so he needs to play within it. He did show a nice ability to hit from the outside, and as he becomes more familiar with his teammates, he may be a decent backup point guard.
Oklahoma City Thunder 87 Boston Celtics 82
Who Impressed – The Thunder, who had been down by as much as 18 in the game, rallied behind impressive performances by Eric Maynor, Byron Mullens, and James Harden. Maynor was able to get into the lane at will in the 2nd half, and if he wasn’t dumping off a nice pass, he found a way to score. Mullens was impressive in the post, especially after Serge Ibaka went out with a leg injury. Mullens still needs to work on his defensive footwork, but he has shown great progress on the offensive end.
On the Celtics’ end, Luke Harangody looked like he had been in the league a few years, seemingly showing that he could do a bit of everything, including hitting 4 of 6 from three-point range. Of course, he showed plenty of the post play and rebounding that he has been known for. I was impressed with Oliver Lafayette, who did a great job running the Boston offense, and showed the ability to penetrate against the OKC guards. Ryan Thompson also showed off his ability to get to the rim and draw contact, though I would like to see him attempt more shots on the perimeter, especially off the pass.
Not Impressed – No one in this game really stood out as unimpressive the first time around. I’ll check in tomorrow after seeing them again.
Philadelphia 76ers 84 New Jersey Nets 74
Who Impressed – Jrue Holiday played a great all-around game – running the offense well, hitting from the perimeter, getting into the lane, and running the break. The only letdown was that he seemed to let up on the defensive end too often. Jodie Meeks showed that he can still score in a variety of ways, and Cedric Simmons played tough down low and even had a great dunk in transition.
Damion James had a nice debut for the Nets, showing his ability to rebound among much bigger players and going to the basket strong. Terrence Williams had exactly the kind of start he needed in Orlando. Williams was near unstoppable off the dribble, showed the ability to run the team on offense, and was a pest on defense.
Turner v. Favors – The Nos. 2 and 3 picks were on display here and at times even went one-on-one against each other. Both were very good and somewhat disappointing in this game, so I will reserve judgment on their play until later in the week. That being said, Evan Turner showed why he could have amore than a few triple doubles in the league, and Derrick Favors showed toughness and athleticism which will make him very valuable to the Nets.
Not Impressed – The only player who I was somewhat disappointed in here was Ben Uzoh. I expected him to be a much better decision maker and his passes seemed a bit tough to handle. Tweety Carter was much better tonight and may get more time tomorrow off of it.
Make sure to check back tomorrow as I recap Day 2 of the Orlando Pro Summer League.