Orlando Summer League: Day Five

Orlando Summer League: Day Five
Jul 15, 2007, 04:05 pm
Game 1

Thabo Sefolosha, 25 points, 3 assists, 5 turnovers, 9/19 FT, 7/10 FT

Mike Schmidt

Though Sefolosha continued to put the ball in the hoop at a good rate today, although he probably has his worst day as a point guard. Off of penetration, he attempted to force the ball to teammates when the passing lanes weren’t there. He did go to the basket very aggressively today, and continued to display the creativity that allows him to both finish inside and draw contact. From the free throw line, Sefolosha was pretty accurate throughout the week, and he should continue to improve here as he becomes more accustomed to getting to the line. Shooting from the field, he actually shot the ball better on the move than he did as a set shooter. Shooting off the dribble was a weakness of his entering the league, and it’s nice to see progress in this area. Defensively, Sefolosha continued to show lockdown potential thanks to his positioning, length, and quickness. It was a nice overall week for Thabo Sefolosha, who looks to have a bright future as a role player for the Bulls.

JamesOn Curry, 19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 8/13 FG

Mike Schmidt

Curry had his best day here, knocking down a number of shots off the dribble. He seems very comfortable shooting on the move out to 20 feet, and once he got going, it allowed him to mix it up by getting inside. Curry ran the point for much of the day with mixed results. He has the ability to find the open player when driving, but he struggles to set up the offense and make the proper reads as a true point guard would. The biggest weakness the rookie guard has displayed this week is his lack of quickness off the dribble. It takes him a lot of fancy dribbling to penetrate into the lane, and it can eat up a good amount of the shot-clock at times. The Bulls drafted Curry looking for a new Jannero Pargo, but Curry might not have the tools to stick with them long term.

Aaron Gray, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2/11 FG

Mike Schmidt

Gray had his worst game of the summer league today, but still managed to make a solid impact inside. He really struggles with a lack of touch after he makes a move on the low block, and a better feel on offense would vastly improve his game. Gray does provide a physical presence inside however, and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around against anyone. On the glass, he boxed out very well again, and the way he uses his body in this area will translate effectively to the NBA. Gray won’t be starting in an NBA game anytime soon, but has the tools to be a good back-up for the Bulls for a number of years to come.

Hassan Adams, 10 points, 1 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3/5 FG, 4/4 FT

Matt Williams

Today wasn’t the best day for Adams statistically, but it may have been has best game in Orlando. He played consistently the entire game, and made very few mistakes. He provided one absolutely spectacular one handed dunk off of an alley oop pass from Marcus Williams. At this point, Adams’ discernable skills are those based off of his athleticism. He has clearly worked to improve some other parts of his game, as his ball-handling has been noticeably better throughout the Summer League. His jump shot it still a work in progress, but he has made some strides on that front as well. He looks very comfortable shooting off the dribble, but doesn’t have great consistency from outside of the midrange. Adams also provided some defensive highlights, getting a couple of blocks by translating his activity on offense into big plays on defense. Alas, it wasn’t enough apparently, as the Nets decided to cut him shortly afterwards.

Marcus Williams, 6 points, 1 rebounds, 12 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3/8 FG

Matt Williams

Wiliiams stuck to what he does best today: distributing the basketball. This was something that was clearly missing from him over the entire week, as he looked very selfish at times. Today he made things extremely easy for his teammates, drawing defenders off the dribble and hitting his wings with smart passes for open perimeter shots. Josh Davis was probably the biggest beneficiary of Williams’ playmaking ability, as he hit numerous shots from the perimeter after receiving the ball from the young point guard. For how few legitimate game reps Williams has had recently, he looks surprisingly quick. He looked very good attacking the basket, and utilized his body in a way that few other point guards can. His jump shot looked above average, as he hit a few pull up jumpers and one nice catch and shoot from the corner. Defensively he struggled as usual, but this is something that the Nets will probably have to live with—although Lawrence Frank won’t want to.

Mike Jones, 13 points, 1 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block 5/9 FG, 3/6 3FG

Matt Williams

Jones played very well today, showing good consistency form the field and taking care of the ball at all times. His shot looked relatively consistent, but he still has a long way to go in terms of his selectiveness. It is difficult to fault Jones for trying to get going on the offensive end, but sometimes he hoists shots at the expense of the team. He will need to hammer out those issues quickly if he wants to play in the NBA. Defensively, Jones used his solid athleticism to stay in front of his man, but doesn’t always make the right rotations from the weak side. As time goes on, Jones needs to work on his handle to become a more effective scorer. He could improve his efficiency right now by taking better shots, but the rest of his offensive game will need some work as well. He will likely have to work on that overseas or in the D-League.

Josh Davis, 19 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block 7/11 FG, 4/6 3FG

Matt Williams

Davis may have been the best player in Orlando this week from a consistency prospective. His shot was falling in each of his games, and tonight was no exception. He isn’t going to wow you with any amazing post moves or shakes off the dribble, but Davis is an absolutely tremendous passer and outside shooter for his size. Athletically, Davis doesn’t have the ideal quickness and vertical for the NBA level, but he compensates better than one would expect him to—mostly thanks to his toughness. Davis has also proven capable of making a living on the glass, going after rebounds and jockeying for position all game long. Though his limited athletic abilities prevent him from being a truly dominant rebounder, he was still one of the best in attendance here in Orlando. Davis could very well have a good chance to stick with a team, but it might be tough to turn down the many lucrative offers he will receive from rich European teams over the next few weeks.

Sean Williams, 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 6/9 FG, 5/5FT

Matt Williams

Williams was dynamite in the first half today, showing off his turnaround jump shot and up and under move on a couple of occasions. Through watching Williams, it becomes clear that he has the potential to have a tremendous offensive post game. His moves are smooth, and extremely difficult to defender. However, he struggles to get his shots to fall with consistency. Given that this is Williams’ first game action in quite some time, he’ll have the opportunity to prove what he can do all season in New Jersey. He is certainly someone to watch out for because he could be an amazing player if his offensive skills ever catch up with his defensive skills.

Game 2

Daequan Cook, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 1/8 FG

Mike Schmidt

Cook struggled from the field again today, though he did manage to make a few nice plays. On a drive in the first half, the rookie guard was able to get to the lane and explode for a nice dunk while being fouled. Unfortunately, this was his only field goal of the day. Cook struggled to find his shot again, failing to show the proper quickness or footwork to create his own shot on the perimeter. He still struggles to handle the ball, especially with his left hand. This limits his chances of getting to the basket and taking advantage of his athletic ability. Defensively, Cook will need to make a lot of progress before he can be effective. He struggles to stay in front of opposing 2 guards in the summer league, showing poor positioning and a lack of focus. Cook has all the tools to become a good NBA shooting guard, but he will have to spend a lot of time in the gym before he can take advantage of his natural tools. Some time in the D-League would greatly benefit Cook.

Marcus Slaughter, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block

Mike Schmidt

Slaughter continued with his strong defense and great energy again today. He again shut down another opponent defensively, limiting Steven Smith on the offensive end a number of times throughout the day. Slaughter has both the strength to bang with post players, and the quickness to stay with smaller players, so he could potentially guard a number of positions at the NBA level. On the glass, he uses his body well, and has great timing when he elevates off the floor. Offense is the biggest weakness for Slaughter at this point in time, and he scores most of his baskets by hustling down the floor on the fast break or putting the ball back in off an offensive rebound. It would help him if he could develop a decent shooting stroke from NBA three point range, just to make him enough of a threat to justify keeping him on the floor in an NBA game. Slaughter has greatly helped his chances of making an NBA roster here this week, and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up in training camp.

Orien Greene, 9 points, 3 assists, 3 turnovers

Mike Schmidt

After struggling for much of the week, Greene had his best game here today. He lacks the range to be a consistent threat from the outside at the NBA level, but he made a nice mid-range pull-up jumper from 15 feet. In addition, he was fouled on a number of drives to the hoop, and has the strength to bully smaller guards if he chooses to back them down. Greene made a few nice reads as a point guard as well, though he tries to force the ball in the half court too often. To stick around in the NBA, he must continue to work on making smarter decisions in the half-court.

Marcin Gortat, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 3/9 FG, 0/2 FT

Matt Williams

Gortat didn’t do much to improve his chances of sticking with the Magic this season, but didn’t do anything to hurt them either. Gortat has an enormous frame, and very nice athleticism, but his hands still need a lot of work. He catches most easy passes, but frequently drops balls that are thrown slightly out of his reach. Gortat will either need to improve his agility to compensate for the passing of others, of get some addition work in practice. Down low, Gortat showed some impressive moves today, including one running lefty hook that was especially nice. He has an above average face up game, and made on nice move off the dribble that got him open for a short jump shot. Gortat may have a tough time adapting to the NBA, but if his recent progress is any indication of how long it will take him, he shouldn’t have any problem finding a home on the Orlando bench.

J.J. Redick, 15 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 5/16 FG, 1/7 3FG

Matt Williams

Redick really struggled from the field today, but still managed to put up decent numbers. His three-pointers just were not falling, so began taking the ball to the rim later in the game. He finished on impressive and-one where he swooped into the lane from a 10 foot floater. Given that Redick won’t shoot like this on most nights, he showed an above average ability to compensate. Redick’s floor game still needs improvement, but he did make some strides today. He threw one especially nice bounce pass between a double team that set Marcin Gortat up for an easy finish. However, he also made the mistake of showing the ball for too long on a subsequent pick and roll. As time goes on, Redick will need to hammer out his ball handling skills, but shouldn’t have any problem avoiding turnovers once he adjusts to the NBA level. The most important thing Redick will need to learn is how to play smart defense. He gives up far too many baskets at this point in his career.

James Augustine, 10 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists, 5/9 FG

Matt Williams

Augustine has been solid all week, and today provided a reminder of what makes him a good player. He made a lot of good passes, and used his size to create lanes from himself to penetrate and to find teammates. Augustine will never impress you with his grit down low, but he does a decent job of fighting for position on the block. Tonight, Augustine did a great job of running the floor, and had two easy baskets off of his hustle alone. Though Augustine didn’t show much from the post, tonight should be considered a success if based only off of how hard he worked.

Steven Smith, 10 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 turnover, 4/11 FG, 2/2 FT

Matt Williams

Just when you think Smith is going to become completely inefficient offensively, he returns to what he does best. Smith has a great midrange post up game, and has a very nice turnaround jumper that he prefers to shoot over his right shoulder. Smith’s shot selection in this game left a lot to be desired, and he also forced a couple of unnecessary drives that he would probably like to have back. Smith showed both the strengths and weaknesses of his game tonight.

Game 3

Kasib Powell, 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2/9 FG, 1/5 3FG, 5/6 FT

Matt Williams

This game was shortened by a running clock, but Kasib Powell deserves mention for putting in a lot of work on both ends of the floor. He made a handful of shots, but did most of his damage from the foul line. Powell is a much different player than he used to be, ditching his face up game for his still developing mid-range game. Though Powell probably won’t play in the NBA, he will have a quality career overseas.

Jared Dudley, 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 6/8 FG

Mike Schmidt

Dudley continued to look great in nearly every aspect of the game today, though the Bobcats limited his minutes on the floor. Early on, the rookie small forward knocked down a 13 footer off the dribble, and followed it up with a steal and a dunk in transition. It is amazing how much he has improved his athleticism since graduating college, and it really showed on a drive where he hung in the air, adjusted his body, and put the ball in while drawing contact. Dudley always finds himself in the right place at the right time, and this shows on the glass, where he managed to rack up 7 rebounds today. Of all the players in the rookie class, Dudley may be more NBA ready than all of them, and he appears ready for a 20 minute per game role this year at the very least. Its unfortunate that the Bobcats are so stacked at his position.

Jermareo Davidson, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 3/9 FG

Davidson made a few more turnaround jumpers today, but struggled to score after making some other moves. He has the footwork and ball handling ability to become a more potent scoring threat, but his soft nature limits the ability to finish these moves inside. Davidson lost out on at least 3 rebounds today because of lack of effort, and he must use his body more effectively in this area if he wants to be above average for an NBA big. He shows a very nice feel for the game at times, showing the potential to be both a scoring and passing threat from the high post. Jermareo Davidson has all the tools to succeed in the NBA, but a new mentality would go a long way for him on the floor.

Ryan Hollins, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks

Mike Schmidt

Hollins will likely not receive any rotation minutes this season, but he is taking better advantage of his natural tools. Offensive, he scored on spot-up jumpers from 15 feet today, a skill that has been very good to him throughout the week. He lacks the footwork and moves inside to be a low-post scoring threat, and his lack of strength kills his chances of scoring on offensive rebound opportunities. Defensively, Hollins has improved his positioning as a help-side shot-blocker, but his timing still causes a problem in this area. If Ryan Hollins wants to accept that he needs to improve and spend some time in the D-League, he could become a back-up in the NBA someday. If he sits on the bench for another season, it’s hard to imagine him sticking in the NBA long term.

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