Another day of Orlando Summer League has come and gone with some fanfare and lots of ugly basketball. Seriously, we’re only three days into this. Let’s take a look at some of the stand-out performances and some of the other less than stellar ones:
Orlando Summer League: Day Two
Game 1: Pacers 96, Celtics 77
Willie Reed: 18 points on 8-12 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks
To say that Reed took over the game in the second quarter is an understatement. He scored 12 of the Pacers 15 points in a four minute span to bring the Pacers from 16 points down to 6. Then to put an exclamation point on the come back in the third quarter, finished two consecutive alley oops. He was super active defensively as well today against Kelly Olynyk and Colton Iverson. He’s really close to being NBA level, and despite being slightly undersized I would expect him to get a call up at some point this season.
Kevin Jones: 17 points on 7-12 shooting, 7 rebounds
Jones did the typical things that he does, knocking down a few jump shots, crashing the offensive glass, and making a few put-backs. He continues to be undersized for the power forward position, but he’s a good rebounder. When he’s knocking down shots from 15-20 feet, he’s borderline NBA-caliber, and will continue to be that way into the near future.
Arinze Onuaku, 3 points on 1-2 shooting, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks
Here is another borderline-NBA big man in Onuaku. He showed off his rebounding ability, especially on the offensive glass today, snatching four of them. The biggest problem is still Onuaku’s free throw shooting, as he’s so bad at it that it is a reasonable strategy to foul him any time he gets on the floor. But he has arms that are the length of a giraffe’s neck and the strength of an oxen, so his interior defense is extremely good. Warts and all, Onuaku has use in the NBA, and his fantastic per-minute production will probably get him back there eventually.
Marcus Smart: 11 points on 3-15 shooting, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers
Smart continues to play well even though his shot isn’t falling. He’s operating well out of the pick-and-roll, not turning the ball over, and creating plays for others. While Smart isn’t a great shooter, I wouldn’t be too worried about a few poor shooting games, given that the small sample will lead to some arbitrary results.
Mike Moser: 11 points on 3-9 shooting, including 3-7 from three, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Another great game from Moser, where he continued to show that he not only has NBA three point range but also other skills such as rebounding. Again, I don’t think that any undrafted prospect has helped himself as much as Moser has yet.
Game 2: Magic 87, Rockets 69
Elfrid Payton: 12 points on 5-5 shooting, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 turnovers
Payton was fantastic today after his middling first game, playing probably the best all-around game of any point guard yet. He got into the lane at will with his great ball-handling ability, and finished well at the rim with both hands. Starting early, he connected with DeWayne Dedmon on a couple of early dump offs and and an alley oop. It would be fair to say that he looked like a totally different player than in his first game, operating with confidence out of the pick-and-roll and making excellent decisions. A great game from the Magic first rounder.
DeWayne Dedmon: 11 points on 4-4 shooting, with 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks
Dedmon was extremely active today, showing off his incredible athleticism for his size both on defense and running the floor in transition with Payton. At this point, he’s still pretty raw on both ends. However, the athleticism gives a great place to build from, making him an excellent prospect for the future if he can be developed in the D-League. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the NBA one day.
Kim English: 5 points on 2-5 shooting, 2 rebounds, 5 fouls
I wanted to talk about English because I always have believed him to be an NBA player. However, today he didn’t look like it. He struggled to make decisions when he faced any sort of pressure, turning the ball over five times and missing two of his three three-pointers. English can definitely shoot the ball and he’ll be someone that will assuredly get a training camp invite by someone due to that, his basketball IQ, and his defensive motor. But this week he’s not making a great impression unfortunately.
The Houston Rockets: 32% from the field, 19% from 3, out-rebounded by 16
No one from the Rockets deserves special mention. This was a team effort of ineptitude, and should never be spoken of again.
Game 3: Thunder 98, Nets 84
Mitch McGary: 18 points on 8-17 shooting, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks
This was a great performance from McGary, despite the somewhat poor shooting. He did a great job of carving out space and sitting in soft spots of the defense, receiving dump offs and getting some easy lay-ups in the first half. There were also some instances of him leading the fast break, but that’s not something you want him doing regularly when games matter. McGary also showed off a solid jump shot that should eventually become a consistent weapon. I don’t know if the Thunder have room for it with Ibaka, Perkins, and Adams in tow, but he looked like he might be ready to compete in the NBA next season.
Nolan Smith: 11 points on 3-4 shooting, 4 assists, 3 steals, 0 turnovers
Smith looked quite good, running the offense well and playing tight defense against Marquis Teague. He was steady and got into the paint with consistency, drawing fouls and setting up plays for others. More than anything though, he looked poised. That’s one of the keys to being an excellent backup point guard, and Smith looks like he might be ready to do it. It won’t be for the Thunder, but he probably impressed other scouts in the stands for other teams.
Jeremy Lamb: 26 points on 8-21 shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 steals
Lamb shot pretty well today, and that’s great. But beyond that he actually showed an aggressiveness that has eluded him all too often in his career to date, attacking the defense and getting where he wanted to. This also extended to rebounding the basketball, where he used his long arms to sky for rebounds. Lamb needs to have this mindset every game in order to reach his full potential.
Marquis Teague: 5 turnovers, some other stats
Still turning the ball over. Now at 14 turnovers in 57 minutes of summer league play. I know that summer league play is chaotic, but it’s become a consistent issue.
Mason Plumlee: 13 points on 4-6 shooting, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
I said it yesterday and still believe it: there’s no purpose in him being here. It’s not that he’s “too good for summer league,” it’s just that he’s basically not defending and not working on anything particularly new in his game. We know he can run the floor, draw fouls, rebound, and attack the rim.
Cory Jefferson: 9 points on 2-4 shooting, 5 rebounds
Jefferson stands a good chance of making this roster if he can continue to be active on the boards and in the paint. Today, he drew a bunch of fouls and converted all of his free throws. He moves well on the perimeter, blocked a shot today, and displayed the motor combined with athleticism that he came to be known for at Baylor. A nice potential backup forward.