As we have just passed the halfway point of the Orlando Summer League, we have seen games go down to the wire, and summer league records being set. Players are turning it up to guarantee themselves a roster spot. Who will make the cut?
Canadian Kelly Olynyk has continued to make Danny Ainge’s decision to draft him look better and better. He has been shooting a blistering hot 57.4 percent clip to the tune of 18.5 points through 4 games. The 7-footer has looked very comfortable playing under new head coach Brad Stevens and looks to help ease Boston’s transition period.
Through three games, new head coach Jason Kidd and his team are now 0-3 and are clearly both learning on the fly. It will be interesting to see how Kidd performs as a coach, just a few months removed from a playoff run with the New York Knicks. Perhaps the only bright spot of the Nets has been the play of first-round draft pick Mason Plumlee. He did not play well against Utah, but to be fair, no one on the Nets played particularly well except Chris Wright as they got blown out. They will be interesting to watch during the season once future hall-of-famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce join the team. Will Kidd figure it out?
At only 19 years of age, Andre Drummond is playing like a man among boys. Through three games he’s averaged 12 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3 blocks. After two mediocre games, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has finally shown his scoring ability with 19 points on 6-13 shooting (4-10 3PM-A). Look for Caldwell-Pope to build on this performance going forward.
Could Terrence Jones play the four spot along Dwight during the regular season? If his play through three games is any indication, then we might see Dwight and Terrence playing a lot of minutes together. The Rockets are undefeated so far behind Jones’ 15.7 ppg. Although he struggled from the field against Boston (3-12), he was 10-14 at the line. Houston’s 2013 draft pick Isaiah Canaan has been a DNP-CD through all three games.
Miles Plumlee has been a beast averaging a double-double with 3 bpg. He will be a great fit alongside Roy Hibbert and will fill the gap left behind by Tyler Hansbrough. He will be a great asset to an already feisty defense-oriented team. Solomon Hill has performed well for the second straight game and is now beginning to quiet critics who crucified Indiana for picking the former Wildcat.
Miami is the only team registered in both the Orlando Summer League and the Vegas Summer League. Pat Riley seems to be looking for some talent on the cheap to fill his roster, and that man could be James Ennis. He put in work against the Magic and finished with 19 points on a dazzling array of moves. Canadian Myck Kabongo was a DNP-CD against Orlando with only 5 points in two games.
This is what Sam Presti envisioned when he traded away James Harden. A day after Reggie Jackson exploded for the Summer League record of 35 points, Jeremy Lamb lit up the 76ers for 32 points on a blistering 10-14 shooting (3-5 3PM-A). First-round pick Steven Adams also had a nice game with 13 points and 5 rebounds. It is no surprise that the Thunder are leading the Summer League with a 4-0 record. With Kevin Martin going to the Timberwolves, Jeremy Lamb will have plenty of chances to prove himself this season.
Nobody has garnered as much attention as Orlando’s star rookie, Victor Oladipo, and for good reason. Whether he has played shooting guard, or the point, Oladipo has been equally as impressive. He showed his speed and athleticism against Miami, scoring 22 points while getting to the line 14 times. Orlando is building on an excellent young core, and will be playoff contenders in a few years. Doron Lamb banged knees with James Ennis late in the third, would leave the game and did not return.
Michael Carter-Williams struggled all day long against OKC, shooting 3-16 from the field. However, he showed why he’s Philly’s point guard of the future, contributing in other areas with 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Khalif Wyatt came back to earth in this game scoring only 4 points, but made some nice plays with 5 assists in limited minutes.
Trey Burke once again struggled from the field, shooting 5-15 against the Rockets, but showed flashes of just how good he can be. He registered a DNP-CD against Brooklyn, as Tyrone Corbin wanted to give a look at some other players. Chris Roberts and Jeremy Evans made the most of their minutes leading the Jazz over the Nets with 15 points each. Trey Burke will need to play with more consistency if he wants the starting point guard gig in Utah.