Taking a step away from free agency talk, there is basketball that is being played right now in Orlando, Florida. Day two of the Orlando Pro Summer League has just concluded.
The Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons and the host team Orlando Magic are the teams that have players not only competing for a spot on an NBA roster but to be crowned the champions of the Orlando Pro Summer League.
I have been watching these games since the start (Sunday) and must say this is the time of year in which I really love sitting, watching and taking notes at the players that are looking at making an NBA squad. The passion and the emotion that is on the floor to me is something I would want to watch being a coach of any team in the NBA, as well as how these players carry themselves during game situations.
One player that I was looking forward to watching is that of Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo. In his first game, I was looking for how he would carry himself as a pro, this being his first game. The nerves looked to be present but when he settled down he put on a show on day one.
Outside of Oladipo, I was looking forward to watching Michael Carter-Williams, Jeremy Lamb, Trey Burke, and Kelly Olynyk. All of these players mentioned played really well, especially Kelly Olynyk. In his first game, Olynyk went 9-of-12 from the floor, 5-of-5 from the free throw line, finishing the game with 25 points and 7 rebounds.
Through two days of the summer league, here is my run down on what I saw from these players and others:
Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia 76ers: He did not disappoint in his first game. Carter-Williams scored 26 points on just 8-of-23 shooting in his first game. He drove to the rim and showed his explosiveness and picking up fouls making eleven trips to the line, hitting all attempts. He also added 8 assists and 7 rebounds in his teams 88-80 loss to the Houston Rockets to kick-off the summer league. In his second game, it was one in which he wish he would take back. Against the Indiana Pacers, he shot poorly, 4-of-20 from the floor for 13 points. What can be taken out of his play in his second game is that he did not commit one turnover, an area that would be a cause of concern coming into the league.
Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder: Lamb would be the talk in day two of the summer league as he would hit a game winner to put the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Orland Magic. Lamb in his first game on day one played a very balanced game. First day jitters showed but when he settled down he really played well. He scored 14 points while grabbing 6 rebounds. In his second game, a nail biter against the before mention Orlando Magic, he would score 11 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. Lamb struggled with his shot most of the day, hitting just four of 16 shots and missing eight of nine 3-pointers. But he created space against Orlando defensive ace Maurice Harkless and sank the go-ahead jumper from the foul line in the final seconds.
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz: Well a debut that I wouldn’t want anyone to have. Burke did not play well at all. At times he looked rushed, he was trying to do to much and the defense forced him into the paint where he made most of his turnovers on day one. He shot 1-of-12 from the floor. He finished with 8 points (6-of-8 free throws). He did have seven rebounds and five assists. Though he had just two turnovers on day one, when he gets into the lane he cannot finish, well he could not in game one. I still feel that he will be a good addition to the Utah Jazz but there is a lot of work that needs to be done with him.
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons: Though he is already in the league, Drummond on day one played for the Detroit Pistons and man, oh man, dude is a beast. Standing at 6-foot-11 and 279 pounds, he looked like a man amongst boys during the Pistons game against the Brooklyn Nets. He played well, blocked shots (6), grabbed rebounds (16) and did a little scoring (12). Drummond is coming off of an injury to his back with Detroit and was looking at getting some conditioning in with games. He did not play on day two.
Peyton Siva, Detroit Pistons: In his first game he didn’t look to shoot much but was looking to get his teammates involved. He finished day one with 6 assists and 2 points (free throws). Being an undersized guard, I always am looking forward to seeing how they prepare for a game and going up against bigger and stronger players. Siva did as good of a job as you could possibly imagine. He’s got great floor vision and the ability to pass the ball off the dribble. He should see minutes for the Pistons this year.
The summer league continues on Tuesday with four games starting at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. You can catch all the action on NBA TV.