August 14, 2014 by Ell and Mike Sports
NBA Summer League 2014 Pt. 1
Rookies Who Stood Out
SG Jordan Adams (Grizzlies)
Adams was a big surprise in the Summer League as he came out hot, but he did regress as the games went on showing inconsistency on offense. Adams has shown the potential to be a good 2-way player as he knows how to slash through the lane and draw fouls, as well as, knock down his free throws while also making plays on the defensive end. He posted stats of 22pts, 4steals, 3assists, and 3rebs, 20pts and 7rebs, 2pts and 2steals, 19pts, 3steals, and 3rebs, and 11pts, 5assists, and 3rebs. Adams was one of few players to make plays on both ends of the floor and actually stay out of foul trouble, despite playing big minutes. Adams has shown that he is ready to make plays off the bench and join the rotation on the wing.
PF Jarnell Stokes (Grizzlies)
Stokes proved to be a dominant big man in the paint while scoring inside and pulling down a lot of rebounds. In game 1, Stokes had 10pts, 5rebs, and 2blks in limited minutes, in game 2 he had 16pts and 12rebs in his best game, in game 3 he had 11pts and 12rebs, in game 4 he had 12pts, 7rebs, and 2steals, and in game 5 he had 12pts and 11rebs. Stokes proved that he can also knock down his free throws and stay out of foul trouble; however, he must continue to work on the defensive end. Stokes appears ready to be a solid backup at the PF spot behind Zach Randolph.
PF Mitch McGary (OKC)
McGary proved to be a solid big man who can score, rebound, and block shots putting up good numbers in the Summer League. In game 1, McGary had 8pts and 3rebs in 22mins, in game 2 he had 18pts, 13rebs, and 2blks in his best game, in game 3 he had 15pts, 2rebs, and 2blks, and in game 4 he had 18pts, 5rebs, and 2blks. McGary is a good two way defender who must continue to increase his rebounding totals, but he is ready for rotational big man minutes.
SF/PF Jabari Parker (Bucks)
Despite getting his shot blocked by veteran C Miles Plumlee, Parker had a good Summer League series showing his all-around game. Parker came out hot in game 1 with 17pts and 9rebs, in game 2 he had a poor shooting night, but had 11pts and 11rebs, in game 3 he had 14pts and 4steals, in game 4 he had 16pts and 4rebs while earning most his points at the FT line, and in game 5 he had 20pts and 15rebs showing his growth and potential. Parker is a good scorer who can attack the basket and shoot mid range jumpers, but he must continue to work on his 3-pt shot. He proved that he can be a solid rebounder and playmaker, but he must continue to work on his defense and limit his turnovers.
SG/PG Marcus Smart (Celtics)
Smart played with a good aggressiveness throughout the Summer League and didn’t mind putting up shots playing at the SG position. He had no problems driving through the lane and drawing fouls, as well as, knocking down his free throws. However, Smart needs to continue to work on his jumper especially from the 3-pt line where he was awful in most games. He got better as the games went on with stats of 10pts, 5rebs, 3assists, and 5steals, 11pts, 4assists, and 3rebs, 14pts, 6assists, and 5rebs, 19pts, 5assists, and 3rebs, and 20pts, 3assists, 5rebs. Smart proved that he is a good rebounder for his size and a good perimeter defense, but he will have rookie growing pains; he should be a nice combo guard off the bench for now.
SG Jordan McRae (76ers)
McRae really came out on a mission despite getting drafted near the end of the 2nd round and being considered undersized. McRae proved that he could score and had no problems getting into the paint and knocking down his free throws. He went 10-12 from the FT line in game 1 with 20pts, 8-9 in game 2 with 18pts and 4steals, 4-6 in game 3 with 21pts and 4rebs, 10-10 in game 4 with 25pts. McRae got better in each game, but he needs to continue to work on his defense and staying out of foul trouble. He also needs to become a better passer, but he definitely seems ready to put up points off the bench for a young 76ers team in need of talent.
SF P.J. Hairston (Hornets)
Hairston struggled in his 1st game, but never looked back after that with stats of 22pts, 18pts and 4rebs, 18pts and 5rebs, 21pts, 15pts and 4rebs, and 27pts and 7rebs. He really has a good all-around game as he racked up a few assists and steals. Hairston has a good offensive game and knows how to get to the free throw line and knock down his shots. He needs to work on the consistency of his 3-pt shot and stay out of foul trouble. Hairston appears ready to be an offensive spark with the ability to space the floor; something the Hornets have always needed.
PF/C Noah Vonleh (Hornets)
Vonleh proved to be an absolute beast on the boards and a shot blocking threat, but his offensive game is still raw. In game 1, he grabbed 6rebs and 3blks, but had 0pts in limited minutes, in game 2 he had 10pts and 18rebs, in game 3 he had 13pts and 5rebs, in game 4 14pts, 10rebs, and 2blks, in game 5 he had 6pts and 5rebs in limited minutes, in game 6 he had 12pts and 10rebs, and in game 7 he had 9pts and 16rebs. Vonleh improved at the free throw line as the games went on, but needs to work on his consistency. He also struggled on the offensive end in all, but two games so offensive improvement should be a priority. Vonleh is a legit double-digit rebounder and a decent shot blocker so he should see minutes in the big man rotation, but he has potential.
SG Gary Harris (Nuggets)
Harris proved to be a good two-way SG as advertised as he lit up the scoreboard and created turnovers with multiple steals each game. In game 1, Harris came out on fire with 33pts, 6rebs, and 2steals, in game 2 he had 9pts, 5rebs, and 2steals on a poor shooting night, in game 3 he had 18pts and 3steals on a poor shooting night from 3-pt, in game 4 he had 15pts, 4steals, 4assists, and 3rebs, and in game 5 he had 18pts, 5rebs, 3assists, and 2 steals. Harris proved that he can be a good rebounder at 6’4 and he can compete. He must continue to work on his shooting consistency especially from deep, limit his turnovers, and stay out of foul trouble. Harris seems ready for a role in the guard rotation off the bench with his good overall game.
PG Elfrid Payton (Orlando)
Payton was a big surprise as he really showed that he is ready to take over the PG job as he put up big assists numbers. In game 1, Payton had 2pts, 5assists, and 3rebs in limited minutes, in game 2 he had 12pts and 9 assists while going 5-5, in game 3 he had 6pts, 3assists, and 2 steals in limited minutes, in game 4 he had 8pts, 10assists, and 9rebs, but he struggled with 7 turnovers, and in game 5 he had 18pts, 8assists, 4rebs, and 4steals. Payton needs to work on his free throw shooting and continue to work on his scoring; however he is a good passer and overall player who should complement last year’s pick Victor Oladipo well.
SF T.J. Warren (Suns)
T.J. Warren was one of the stars of the Summer League with a good display of his athleticism and scoring abilities. In game 1, he had 22pts and 4rebs, in game 2 he had 4pts in only 7mins, in game 3 he had 28pts and 11rebs on a good scoring night, in game 4 he had 26pts and 3rebs, and in game 5 he had 9pts, 5rebs, and 2steals on a poor shooting night. Warren proved that he can score, get to the FT line, and rebound, but he must that he can shoot the 3 ball as he went 0-4; this will be the key in his transition to a full-time SF. He also needs to continue to work on his defense and staying out of foul trouble, but Warren appears ready to be a good athletic, scorer coming off the bench for now.
SG Zach LaVine (T-Wolves)
LaVine proved to be the athletic scorer the T-Wolves were hoping for when they drafted him; he showed improvement as the games continued. He had 22pts, 4assists, 4rebs, 16pts, 4assists, 4rebs, and 20pts, 2assists, 3rebs in his last 3 games. LaVine has the ability to finish around the rim and get to the free throw line while knocking them down. He showed a good all-around offensive game, but he needs work on the defensive end and he needs to limit his turnovers. However, he should be a good, energy combo guard coming off the bench as an offensive spark; he could continue to work his way into a starting job.
PG Jordan Clarkson (Lakers)
Clarkson showed an ability to score, but he did cool off as the games went on; therefore, with his size and play he may seem more minutes at SG than PG. In game 1, Clarkson had 21pts, 3assists, 4rebs, and 2steals, in game 2 he had 16pts, in game 3 he had 19pts and 7reb, but got into foul trouble, in game 4 he had 11pts, 6rebs, and 2steals, and in game 5 he had 12pts and 6rebs. Clarkson knows how to get to the line and knockdown his free throws and he is a good shooter as well with range from deep, but he must work on his consistency. Clarkson appears ready to fight for minutes at the guard position; if they want him to play PG he will need to pass more and limit his turnovers.
SG Nick Johnson (Rockets)
Nick Johnson proved to be a solid prospect who is definitely ready for the NBA game as an explosive combo guard. Johnson played in both Summer Leagues averaging 15.8ppg, 5apg, and 6.2rebs per game in Orlando and averaging 12.5ppg, 4.4rpg, and 2.3apg in Las Vegas. His best game came in a win against the Nets where he had 15pts, 10rebs, 2 steals and 10assists for a nice triple double. Johnson proved despite being undersized at 6’3, that he is a gamer who is ready to play in this league. He should be a quality scoring combo guard off the bench who can provide solid all-around play with energy, hustle, defense, and offense.
SF/PF Doug McDermott (Bulls)
McDermott showed a good overall game which made teams fall in love with him showing that he should be able to handle a SF role. In game 1, McDermott had 10pts, 5rebs, and 4assists, in game 2 he had 31pts going 12-12 from the FT line and 7-12 from the floor, in game 3 he had 20pts, 6assists, and 5rebs, and in game 4 he had 11pts, 5rebs, and 2 nice blocks on an off shooting night. McDermott is a good inside/outside scorer who can get to the FT line and knock them down. However, he needs to limit his turnovers and continue to work on his consistency. McDermott should be ready to contribute good wing minutes off the bench as a scorer and shooter to space the floor.
PG Russ Smith (Pelicans)
Smith played with the same toughness and aggressiveness that he showed at Louisville, but surprisingly he was a lot more effective on the offensive end than the defensive end. Smith showed a good, complete inside/outside offensive game and he plays well without the ball as a good rebounder (despite his size), and a good passer. He posted stats of 20pts, 9rebs, 5assists, and 3steals, 6pts, 8assists, and 4rebs, 14pts, 10assists, and 5rebs, 19pts, 6assists, and 5rebs, and 21pts and 3assists. Smith needs to stay out of foul trouble and cut down on his turnovers, but he played better as the games went on. He has really proved to be an effective combo guard who can handle the backup PG duties and Smith could see a lot of minutes, especially if the injury bug hits the team again.