1. Orlando Summer League thoughts.
Well so long Orlando and hello Vegas but before we look at Vegas I thought we would pay our loving(except for you Drummond*) respects to the past couple of days. While it was a very slow start to begin with the level of play increased as the week went on. We had a fair share of interesting and intriguing match-up's such as Perry Jones III vs Jared Sullinger and Enes Kanter vs Andre Drummond. Their were a lot of key aspects that shone through the week and it was interesting to see how these impacted each game. I think it's impossible to talk about Orlando without talking about names like Reggie Jackson,E'Twan Moore and Lance Stephenson. If you like aggressive PG's then you'll love these 3. They ran their team and not only that they relentlessly attacked on offense. Imagine watching Russell Westbrook playing, it was like that with these 3 men. I swear it was like watching him the entire time with each 3 of these guys.
You can't not look at Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones's performances in Orlando due to the quality of the player and the position that they were drafted at. Sullinger only played 3 games but in all 3 we saw that he is gonna impact Boston's scoring in a variety of ways. He's a great post player as we know and his face-up game is better then first expected. He uses his big lower half to his advantage and positions himself well for rebounds. He'll find his role in Boston no matter how big or small but he's a very talented player and i'm sure Boston will find a use for him. As for Perry Jones his injury in his second game made it harder to judge but from what I saw in the Boston game he is extremely fun to watch. He's freakishly athletic for his size and boy is he smooth. I mean like silk. He transitions from offense to defense so easily and he shoots pretty well also.
What about the other 1st rounders in Orlando? Well Philly's Maurice ''I had to go back and change it to Maurice so that I don't offend him by calling him Moe''Harkless sustained a injury in his second game and was shut down for the rest of the week but from the 30 or so minutes that he was on the floor in both game I saw nothing. As in he pulled Houdini for those 30 minutes only to punctuate with an occasional appearance the defense boards. The Pacers 1st rounder Miles Plumlee who was not only consistent but improved as the week went on. His scoring was one of the most impressive things about him. His post moves and is ability to eek out points is something that any NBA team would love to have. Orlando's first round pick Andrew Nicholson out of St.Bonaventure started out with one of the best performances of the Summer League so far with 24 points 12 board and 2 blocks. Now with Nicholson he showed in that first game that he can go down low in the post and produce and produce well. The consensus with Nicholson is that he was a David West type step off the pick and roll and hit the mid-range jumper but he insisting that he wants to be a more post player but if you watched him after that first game it was like the post was hot coals and he was barefoot. I'm not knocking him because he has proven he can be an effective post player but he just wanted to sit outside and hit jumpers. Don't get me wrong I really like the guy as a player but if you say you want to play in the post then go play in the post.
I think I forgot a name......Oh wait a minute did someone call for ANDRE DRUMMOND?!? No? I don't blame you. I think of Andre Drummond as a car that's been broken down and taken into the shop. The Mechanic spends all day searching the car all over looking for the problem but can't find it. He keeps thinking about it and leaves the car in the shop and goes home and can't stop thinking about it. Even while he's having dinner with his family he can't help but wonder what is wrong with the car. Don't read into that last analogy too much. But Drummond has bucket-loads of talent I know we all like to bash him but there is no way around it. But for all that talent he somehow manages to vanish from the game like a fart in the wind at the drop of a hat. You've no idea how frustrating it is to watch Drummond. It's criminal that talent like that should be wasted on a person like Drummond. It's like giving a vegan foie gras. Okay let's end this of key rant with some form of conclusion. IF Detroit can make this guy give his 100% every time out there he and Greg Monroe will form a post partnership then will be very hard to equal. Yes i'm talking about them being better then Pau and Bynum or Marc Gasol and Z-Bo. I think that's a pretty good conclusion.
Now before we kick into full on Warriors mode there were some games that acquired my attention for a few reasons
1. Bradley Beal was playing.
3. THE DONTAE(Montejunas)
4. Houston Pleathora of Rookies.
5. The miracle that is Jan Vesely.
Okay first to Beal. Now the first thing that strikes me about him is robust frame that's not only strong but very quick which allows him to get to the bucket and finish well. His shooting stroke is pretty much self-explanatory and it does as advertised. I think the most important to the Wizards is that he can play without the ball because quite frankly he won't be seeing much being in the same back-court as John Wall. However I was also curious to see a guy who many saw as the best shooter in the draft this year in John Jenkins. And I gotta say I'm one of those people who think that he's the best pure shooter to come out of this year's draft. You may say ''But what about Beal'' Beal is a great shooter but he's more then just a shooter. Jenkins on the other hand is an out and out shoot the lights out player. While he's not as big or as well built as Klay his stroke is consistent and his range is rather impressive.
Now onto my new favourite player that can do it all at 7ft. Okay mabye not but his performance in the game against Toronto was one of the highlights of the Summer League by far. I mean there is nothing more fun to watch a 7ft run the floor like a deer and shoot the 3. Yes i've been swept up in a sort of fanboy moment for THE DONTAE! But realistically the guy is incredibly talented but needs to show consistency with his rebounding and of course since he is a big-man he of course needs to practice his free throw stroke.
Speaking of Houston Rookies I think it's time we moved onto their plethora rookies. Of course we have THE DONTAE! to start off with and then we have the ex-UConn shooter Jeremy Lamb and finally Royce White. You see a lesser man would have made a Royce White joke there but I fly straight and true, no turbulence here. Oh I also forgot about Terrance Jones who somehow manages to fill the stat sheet while moving like a 80 year old granny at times. Is it me or is Lamb the natural heir to Kevin Martin? I mean he's a scorer, maybe a better defender due to his length but after that is he really that different from Martin? As for Royce White....I'm seriously confused on this point. He get's into the post and get's pushed around he takes the ball outside he's asking for it to be stolen. So what do you do with a guy that struggles to not only rebound but be a threat on offense? I'd like to possibly see him do what Andrew Nicholson did and see what his pick and roll game is like except let him try the mid-range. If it works maybe he'll be more confident to try some other things and start showing some of the potential he clearly has. If not then get ready for a bucket load of passes out of the post.
And finally we come to the comedic side of the article and according to his now infamous youtube highlight video the ''DUNKING NINJA!''. Yes Jan Vesely may be an athletic freak of nature(There's not way around it he really is) but sweet jesus he manages to do some remarkably stupid things. Okay i'm going to lay down a stat the likes of which has never been seen or heard when talking about a player in summer league. On average of the past 3 games Jan Vesely has fouled out 6 times. So by NBA standards(Which is what the summer league is trying to give all the rookies and sophmores, regardless of if they are doing it right or not) Vesely wouldn't have finished any of those 3 games. I mean I know the guy is ''flying by the seat of his pants'' with his playing style but how the hell do you manage 10 fouls in one game? That's quite frankly impressive that he was able to do that. But what's more impressive is the single fact that he cannot hit a jump shot from any range to save his life. This is both ironic and hilarious to those who knew about Vesely coming over and had seen rather clearly in more then one scouting report that he had ''terrific range on his jumper that stretch's out to the 3pt line''. Don't mistake me for a hater because i'm not. Vesely is one of the single most enjoyable players to watch on the fast break because you know he's going to get a dunk. His wingspan and height mean he could be played anywhere from the center position to small forward. I really do hope Bradley Beal or someone in that Washington Organisation teaches him how to shoot again because once he get's that locked down and add's a few pounds to his quite frankly stick figure frame then he's is going to be a very interesting play to watch.
-I was extremely impressed by Scott Machado when he came on during the final period against Toronto. When Toronto was surging he came in and ran the offense like a pro. And further helped add to the Rockets lead to put them out of sight. Even if Machado doesn't stay with Houston(Which he really should) he's gonna be a real steal for whatever team does pick him up.
- I think we are starting to find out which one is Brook and which one is Robin when it comes to the Morris twins.
- Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist may not be the best scorer but damm he outworks every single player that's on the court with him. Not only that but he wears down defenders so much so that he get's to make some easy buckets.
- If somebody finds Thomas Robinson's identity card can they please give it back to him and tell him that he was the main reason Kansas got to the NCAA Final because he needs to remember his purpose and not look like such a lost soul on the court.
- Anybody else know Miami's back-up's were that good?
- Okay one final question. Better Summer League roster. Houston or Portland(Btw these teams face off tomorrow)
(Apologies if this seemed late at any time. I'm saving my thoughts on GSW for when all their games are done. But for now I'll continue to focus on all of the other games. Enjoy.