Summer League Recap: Day 1
Notes from the opening action of the Orlando Pro Summer League.
by Jake Fischer / @JakeLFischer
ORLANDO — The Orlando Pro Summer League is a curious thing. Fans aren’t allowed, for starters. The majority of the League’s general managers are in attendance while free agency is still ongoing. Players hang out and eat with media in the dining area and media workroom. Some teams are made up of mostly rookies while some teams also carry 34-year-olds. Basically, anything can happen. So, what stood out from day one of all the action?
-Joey Crawford was in attendance as a mentor and coach to the inexperienced referees officiating the game. (Pause to let Spurs fans shake their heads…)
-In the first game, in which the Houston Rockets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 88-80, the Michael Carter-Williams era began in Philly. The No. 11 pick in the Draft who will replace Jrue Holiday had a strong showing in his professional debut. In 34 minutes of action, MCW dropped a line of 26 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds on 10-11 shooting from the line. In fairness, he had 9 turnovers and shot just 8-23 from the field, but it’s day one of his professional career. For Houston, Terrence Jones was an absolute monster, going off for 24 points and 12 rebounds. He could be a huge asset for the Rockets off the bench during the season.
-Two rookies stole the show during game two. Kelly Olynyk was exceptional for the Boston Celtics. He had 25 points and 7 rebounds and also showed an impressive stroke from deep, draining 2 from three-point land. Interestingly, Boston ran a lot of their half-court offensive sets through Olynyk at the high post. On the other side of the ball, Victor Oladipo was terrific, hanging 18 points, 6 boards, 7 assists and 5 steals on the Celtics. But if the Magic want him to become a point guard, he’s going to have to cut down on the turnovers, too. Romero Osby also impressed for the Magic. Orlando’s scouts on the sidelines were thrilled with the youngster’s 18 points and 5 rebound off the bench.
-The most notable aspect of the day’s third game was Trey Burke’s pedestrian day against the Miami Heat. Burke shot a putrid 1-12 from the field and got blocked several times in the lane. But again, it’s just the first day.
-Oklahoma City fans had plenty to enjoy during the fourth contest of the day. Jeremy Lamb, Daniel Orton and Grant Jerrett all performed well in their respective ways. Lamb started off cold, but hit his stride in the middle of the second quarter. His shot looked smooth and he looked to have a true command of the offense. Daniel Orton was a monster in just 20 minutes of action. He clogged the lane defensively and showed some true promise on the block offensively en route to his 15 points. Lastly, Grant Jerrett did his best Big Shot Bob impersonation, knocking down his first 4 attempts from the outside before rimming one out in the waning moments of the game. He has a legitimate shot at making the Thunder’s roster.
-It wasn’t fair that Andre Drummond was on the court for Detroit against the Brooklyn Nets. The big man—who embarrassed singer Chris Brown a few weeks ago—went for 12 points (mostly on ferocious dunks) and 16 boards. Don’t be surprised if his work in Orlando is done. Also, Jason Kidd barely did any coaching during the game, allowing Lawrence Frank and other assistants to draw up plays during huddles. But he did do enough to get T’d up at the end of the game.
-All the action kicks back into gear at 11 a.m. Monday when the Thunder square off against the Magic.