Summer League Recap: Day 3
Notes from the action at the Orlando Pro Summer League.
by Jake Fischer / @JakeLFischer
ORLANDO — Sample size is always a term that’s thrown around when evaluating talent. It’s easy for a guy to make a great first impression or an equally sour impact, but what’s he like over the long haul? Some may say three games is when a player’s performance stops being an occurrence and starts becoming a trend. Day 3 in Orlando revealed some of those consistencies.
-The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets were off today. Both teams did practice but their sessions were not open to the media.
-Courtney Lee and Jeff Green sat courtside next to Brad Stevens during the Celtics and Pacers game at 11 a.m. Lee, who makes his summer home in Orlando, said the two Boston vets were mostly there to see their new teammate Kelly Olynyk in action.
-Olynyk didn’t disappoint. He went off for 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. His most impressive moment was when he grabbed a defensive rebound, put it on the floor without hesitation, took it coast-to-coast and pro-hopped for a lay in. Yeah, he’s talented.
-Also, the Celtics coaching staff wins the “Most Coordinated” award through three days. The entire staff has rocked the same colored shirt and slacks. As the saying goes, when you look good…
-For Indiana, Miles Plumlee came up big again. He dropped 9 points and 7 rebounds and has looked more and more comfortable on the court. Most importantly for the Pacers, Solomon Hill played a second-straight tremendous game. After the Pacers were criticized for selecting the former Wildcat in the first round, Hill has performed pretty well here at the Amway Center. He’s averaged 15.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
-Apparently the NBA TV telecast was down for the majority of the second quarter of these games. Which brings up the question: If an NBA-affiliated basketball game occurred but it wasn’t broadcast on any level, did it actually happen?
-Reggie Jackson started for the Thunder after taking an elbow to the head and receiving stitches above his left eye yesterday. He looked like a pirate in post-game interviews. Daniel Orton, who was a monster for the Thunder on Monday, sat out with a mild concussion.
-Steven Adams played well and looked the most comfortable that he has in Orlando in his third game with the Thunder. The No. 12 pick in the 2013 Draft went for 11 points and 6 rebounds.
-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope started to really heat up for the Pistons in the third quarter. He finished with 19 points and looks like he’s going to be a solid scorer for Detroit. The team also played much better with Andre Drummond on the court. After getting blown out by the Celtics yesterday, the Pistons narrowly fell to the Thunder and wouldn’t have lost if it wasn’t for Reggie Jackson…
-As Jackson heated up in the fourth quarter, the Thunder bench grew intensely animated. You could say the bench was in mid-season form. He went on a 12-2 run by himself to tie the game at 63 with 4:30 remaining in the game. His two free throws with 2:51 remaining made it 65-63 and the Thunder didn’t look back. He ended up dropping 35 points on the game—the most of anyone in the League thus far—and scored 23 in the fourth quarter.
-Houston handled Utah pretty well in the third game of the day. Houston’s frontcourt led the way, behind Greg Smith and Jack Cooley. The two bigs dropped 10 points, 7 boards and 10 points, 8 boards, respectively.
-Trey Burke got to the rim a little more effectively in his second game, but he’s still struggling to have a true impact on the game’s outcome at this level. He needed 15 shots to score 11 points and turned the ball over 4 times.
-In the day’s finale, the Miami Heat squared off against in-state rival and the League host Orlando Magic. James Ennis came out firing for the defending champs. Ennis went off for 17 points and 3 rebounds.
-Miami was pretty much in control throughout and the game and they would go on to cruise to a 94-80 victory. But, the Heat didn’t close it out before former Memphis Tiger DJ Stephens came off the bench and provided some athletic entertainment. Stephens wasn’t supposed to play today, but ended up grabbing 8 minutes of PT. He went on to slam home a ridiculous alley-oop and swatted a shot as well.