2013 NBA Summer League: Olynyk, Oladipo, Orton, Osby, and Others

Oklahoma City Thunder center Daniel Orton
Oklahoma City Thunder center Daniel Orton
Feb 10 2013 Phoenix AZ USA Oklahoma City Thunder center Daniel Orton against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center Mark J Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

At the conclusion of our Second Round Breakdown, I noted that the next stop for a lot of these draft picks would be the NBA Summer League. Sunday was opening day for the Orlando Summer League and it featured a lot of key, notable players who will definitely make plenty of contributions in the upcoming NBA season. It also featured plenty of players who have been forgotten, but are still trying to hone their skills and save their NBA lives. This is where a lot of those “raw athletic” and/or “will need a few years to develop” players begin to hone their skills in front of their team’s coaching staff before the start of training camp.

Here are a few thoughts and impressions on yesterday’s Summer League action. You can check out the teams and rosters here.

  • The Houston Rockets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 88-80.
  • Lost among the hype surrounding the acquisition of Dwight Howard, is the fact that the Rockets are loaded with plenty of prospects: James AndersonPatrick Beverley, Vander BlueIsaiah CanaanTyler HoneycuttTerrence Jones, and Greg Smith are the names that most NBA fans will recognize.
  • Back in 2011, Honeycutt surprisingly fell out of the first round of the draft and was selected 35th overall. He intrigued many NBA fans with his skill set and athleticism, but definitely was a raw product and lacked strength and bulk. He is still listed at 188 lbs. Nevertheless, lack of strength has nothing to do with a poor shooting night: 3 of 8 from the field, including 1 of 5 from beyond the arc. Honeycutt did finish with nine points and two steals in about 19 minutes of action.
  • Without a doubt, the player of this game was Terrence Jones. Taken with the 18th pick overall in last year’s draft, the Kentucky product finished the game with a double-double (24 points and 12 rebounds) and a plus/minus of +8. He did have five turnovers as he got a bit careless with the ball, but shot for a high percentage (69% from the field and 5 of 7 from the free-throw line) and really imposed his will in this game.
  • Patrick Beverley is the guy most known for injuring Russell Westbrook’s knee in this year’s playoffs. He also established himself as a good backup playmaker for James Harden as well. His first game of the Summer was satisfactory. He accumulated the most minutes out of all of Houston’s guards (26 minutes). He also made the most of those minutes scoring ten points, six assists, four rebounds, and two steals and blocked shots, while only committing one turnover. Even though he finished taking the second most field goal attempts for Houston, I would have loved to see him be more aggressive from a shooting and scoring standpoint.
  • Overall, Greg Smith and James Anderson had disappointing showings on Sunday. To Smith’s credit, he did grab six rebounds, two steals and three blocks while also making 12 trips to the free-throw line. However, he played 28 minutes (second most on the team) and at this point of Smith’s career, we expect more from him. Anderson shot poorly from the field–but redeemed himself on the line–and had three turnovers. He’s basically a seasoned vet this summer compared to the other players.
  • Current Sixers’ GM, Sam Hinkie used to work for the Rockets’ front office. A homecoming of sorts. He also went out of his way to draft the following guy:
  • Michael Carter-Williams played a whopping 34 minutes and was given the freedom to run the offense his way. We’ve mentioned all of MCW’s flaws beforehand: poor jump shot and shooting range, will pass up shots, even when wide open, too aggressive on defense, will struggle against smaller, but quicker guards, and he’s “turnover prone.” Well, all of those flaws were on full display against the Rockets–except the part about passing up shots. He attempted 23 shots from the field, but only connected on eight of them. His poor range was evident with an 0-for-6 showing from the three-point line. But what he lacked in his jump shot, he made up for it in aggressiveness as most of his made shots happened when he drove hard to the basket. He made a total of eleven trips to the foul line. However, we also saw MCW being pestered by smaller guards on both ends of the court and committed nine turnovers finishing with a -4 in the plus/minus category. He did manage to pad the stats in other categories, but a point guard with that many turnovers will overshadow any other positives.
  • The Orlando Magic defend their court against the Boston Celtics, 95-88.
  • Kelly Olynyk was the most impressive player in this game. He was 9-for-12 from the field and made all five of his free throws. Scoring 25 points and grabbing seven boards, Olynyk also struggled with turnovers, committing five of them, and did not block a shot. He finished at plus/minus -6 and finished with six fouls. We had mentioned that Olynyk’s offense was NBA ready, but that his defense needed some work. Looking forward to see if improvements will be made in the second game.
  • Fab Melo played the most minutes out of all the Celtics’ players with 28 minutes, chipping in nine points and eight rebounds.
  • Just for laughs, I included Colton Iverson’s performance here just to show how far off his game is from real NBA action: 16 minutes, plus/minus -10, five fouls, four rebounds, one assist, 1 block and steal, zero points.
  • Moe Harkless played the most minutes for the Magic with 37 minutes. His line: 15 points (6 of 13 from the field), eight rebounds, plus/minus +13. He definitely looked like a 2012 first round pick.
  • Tobias Harris did not play in this game, but I look forward to watching him play. Why? Let’s just say that I acquired certain basketball bragging rights because of him.
  • Romero Osby comes into this NBA season with the label of “tweener,” but his debut of 18 points and five rebounds caught the eye of superstar, Kevin Durant as he proclaimed him a “steal” in this draft.
  • Victor Oladipo was seen playing both guard positions. He looked great as an aggressive scorer, scoring 18 points, but even though he dropped seven dimes, he also committed six turnovers and was very sloppy as the point guard. Oladipo running the point in this game reaffirms Orlando’s desire to develop him into the point guard of the future, even though his profile does not describe a guy that can run a team’s offense. Other than the poor point guard skills, Oladipo showed the promise of being a good, all-around player.
  •  James Ennis was one of those second round picks that might be worth monitoring as his length, athleticism, and intangibles made him an intriguing choice for the Miami Heat. He shot the ball poorly, but surprisingly was 2 of 4 from the three-point line (lack of range was a supposed weakness). He also did a good job drawing fouls, making 5 of 6 from the line. All in all, 11 points, three rebounds, and two steals is a respectable line for many bench players.
  • High-flying Jeremy Evans played 26 minutes and finished with six points and five rebounds. Ironically, he also had two of his shots blocked.
  • Trey Burke, with 32 minutes of play (most on the Utah Jazz), was 1-for-12 from the field (including 0-for-4 from behind the arc) and like Evans, he had two of his shots blocked–which was expected for the diminutive guard. What was not expected was the 6-1 Burke grabbing seven rebounds. And even though he had a poor shooting game, he did a good job getting to the line and making 6 of 8 free throws. He also added five assists, so at least his point guard game seemed intact. Burke can definitely shoot the ball better.
  • Not surprising, Michael Stockton is on the Jazz roster for this summer. Yes, “the” John Stockton is his father.
  • Kevin Durant was in Orlando checking out the action, but the real treat for him was checking out his teammates as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Indiana Pacers.
  • Like the Rockets, the Thunder have a lot of notable prospects in this league. Jeremy Lamb is the most known and probably the most talented. Playing a team-leading 30 minutes, Lamb finished with 14 points and six boards, but shot only 31% from the field.
  • Another Kentucky player, Daniel Orton impressed at center with 7 of 11 shooting, scoring 15 points, grabbed four boards, and had two steals and blocks.
  • Miles Plumlee for the Pacers has some hops! Was one point and rebound away from a double-double, but with 6 blocked shots, he was working on a triple-double.
  • Andre Drummond looked like a man among boys in the Detroit Pistons vs Brooklyn Nets’ game.  He finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds and looked like a linebacker with six blocks and five steals. Seven turnovers and poor shooting performance ruined an otherwise good game from the second-year man.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, for all the hype that was given to his 3-point shot, finished 0-for-8 from three-point land.
  • Peyton Siva had a solid game contributing six points and six assists, while grabbing four boards and four steals. Only committed one turnover. Looking good so far.
  • Mason Plumlee also had a good debut (10 points, 14 rebounds), but finished with a plus/minus -6 and with five turnovers.
  • Tyshawn Taylor scored 17 points, but shot a low 33% from the field and finished the game at plus/minus -12 and turned the ball over six times. Not a good way to impress your new head coach, a legendary point guard. Also worth noting that Jason Kidd was on the sideline coaching this Nets’ team and even received a technical foul.

Keep paying attention to these Summer League games. Four more games are slated for Monday.

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Felipe Melecio
Felipe Melecio was the managing editor for the blog Pathological Hate. He believes that math is your friend and numbers can be fun, especially when it comes to baseball. Keep tabs on all his knee-jerk reactions on Twitter: !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');