Orlando Summer League: Day Two

Orlando Summer League: Day Two
Jul 11, 2007, 04:43 pm
Orlando Magic 88 Indiana Pacers 65

J.J. Redick, 17 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 5/12 FG, 1/4 3PFG, 6/7 FT

Redick had a very solid all-around game on the offensive end. It was particularly impressive the number of times he penetrated into the lane before finding the open man on the perimeter. He didn’t have any problem getting past the defense using his dribble throughout the game, and it makes his outside shooting stroke even more deadly when defenders are forced to respect his game off the dribble. Redick’s three point shot wasn’t falling today, but he did get a number of good looks that nearly went down.

The NBA game will clearly be a struggle for Redick defensively, however, as proven against summer league competition here. His initial man to man defense seems to be solid, but a lack of recovery speed hurts him after he loses his position. Other guards also posted up Redick on a number of occasions, and the second year Magic guard lacked the strength to hold his position down low, and it was fairly easy for the opposing guards to operate in this area.

If Redick can translate his penetrate and pass ability to the NBA game, he could see some valuable rotation time for the Magic this season. Orlando may have to find a way to cover for him on the defensive end, but he will certainly have the chance to showcase what he can offer on offense.

James Augustine, 16 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 0 turnovers, 8/9 FG

Augustine had a great all-around performance today, showing off great versatility offensively. He opened up scoring a lefty hook from 12 feet, a shot that will be hard for any defender to contest. Augustine showed surprising range from the faceup game as well, knocking down a few jumpers from 15 feet throughout the game and even taking the ball in off the dribble on one occasion. From the low block, he was able to read the defense and dump the ball to the open man. It would have been nice to see him operate from down low more often, especially considering the rate he was putting the ball in the basket. With all of his success on the offensive end, Augustine still doesn’t demand the ball when he has good position, and the passive nature to his game still lingers. Still, Augustine has a nice set of skills combined with good athletic ability, and he can certainly be the type of player who has a long career off the bench.

Kevin Kruger, 18 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 turnovers, 5/10 FG, 4/7 3PFG

The point guard from UNLV had a quiet first half today, but followed it up with a very strong second half. Kruger has great range on his jumper, and already shoots the NBA three without a problem. In addition, he gets the ball off very quickly while showing a high release point on the shot. Kruger also displayed impressive ability from mid-range, where he comfortably pulled up for the floating at least two times during the game. Despite a good showing on the offensive end, he struggled to set up the offense on a few occasions. Kruger isn’t exactly the type of player who racks up a lot of assists by breaking down the defense either. It appears to be unlikely that the guard will make an NBA team, but he did have a solid showing today.

Marcin Gortat, 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks, 3 turnovers

Gortat has made surprising progress with his offensive game over the past couple years, showing a nice mid-range jumper today that was effective when he faced up out of the post. In addition, he showed the ability to finish softy when attacking the basket after facing up. With his back to the basket, Gortat still lacks any type of game, however, and he struggled on a few possessions when given the ball down low late in the shot-clock. Gortat showed excellent timing on the defensive end, blocking 4 shots. He has the body to take abuse defensively in the NBA, and he’s not afraid to play a physical game. Based on his performance today, he certainly should make it past training camp with the Magic.

Shawne Williams, 12 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 6 turnovers

Though still raw, Williams has made progress from last season, and still has the upside to become a quality player at the NBA level. He still loves the three point shot a little too much, but today he attacked the basket with mixed results. A number of his turnovers resulted from poor ball handling ability, but he did show good athletic ability inside. The real area of improvement from Williams can be seen on the defensive end. Focus still appears to be a problem for the second year forward, but he made a number of nice plays to create turnovers, and showed improved recovery speed as well. An improvement with ball handling would go a long way to help Williams succeed at the NBA level, as would additional playing time in game situations.

Stephen Graham, 13 points, 3/10 FG, 6/8 Fts

Graham plays a tough, physical style that will certainly give him a chance to make an NBA roster. Defensively, he uses a well developed body and a good wingspan that allows him to blanket opposing players. Offensively, Graham uses his body well inside, and a good handle allows him to attack the basket off the dribble. Today, he made a few nice finishes inside, showing good touch inside while hanging in the air and drawing the foul. The biggest struggle for Graham comes from the perimeter, where he struggles to shoot the outside jumper. He did knock down a nice 20 footer off the dribble today, but clearly lacks the mechanics and consistency to become a threat from this area. Graham has been in and out of the NBA over the past 2 seasons, but has all the tools to catch on as a role player off the end of the bench.

Andre Owens, 14 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 4/9 FG, 3/4 3PFG

Owens shot the ball well from the perimeter today, which is something he struggled with over the course of the D-League season last year. Consistency has always been a problem in this area for him, so we’ll see if he can keep it up the rest of the week. Owens scores a lot of his points going to the basket, but struggled in this area today, especially on a drive to the hoop where he missed an open dunk. Despite good quickness off the dribble, the former Jazz guard lacks the explosiveness and size you like to see from an NBA 2 guard, and he struggles to run the point. While playing the lead guard role today, he made a few nice passes off of drives to the basket, but struggled to operate within the flow of the offense.

Chicago Bulls 92 Charlotte Bobcats 80

Tyrus Thomas, 24 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, 3 steals, 7/13 FG, 10/15 FT

Generally, summer league free throw numbers can be taken with a grain of salt, as the officiating crews call nearly everything that is and is not a foul. This doesn’t apply to Tyrus Thomas however, as he forced the refs to call a foul by attacking the basket with reckless abandon. Watching the second year forward play, you have to wonder how many players in the NBA can match his athleticism. Unlike many players with freakish athleticism, Thomas applies his every single chance he gets. Thomas scored the bulk of his points attacking the basket off the dribble, showing great quickness in getting to the basket off the dribble. His handle still appears to be a bit mechanical, but he can apply it to the NBA playing a face the basket 4 role.

Thomas took many mid-range jumpers throughout the game with mixed success. His form looks to be slightly better from last season, though he still has a stroke that starts inside and moves outward. The ball is released to the basket with better consistency, however, and his touch has improved as a result.

In addition, Thomas’ feel for the game appears to be vastly improving as well. From the high post, he made a number of passes to cutting teammates, and he even made a very nice dish to a teammate under the hoop on a face-up drive.

Thomas continues to show promise defensively as well, especially as a player who can change the flow of the game with his shot blocking. His improved offensive game will allow him to play consistent rotation minutes with the Bulls this season, and it would not be a surprise to see him start for stretches over the course of the season. Tyrus Thomas has all-star potential, and it is almost scary to think of how good he could be if his offensive game continues to progress.

Adam Morrison, 17 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 6/11 FG, 1/3 3PFG, 4/6 FT

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the summer league so far was watching Adam Morrison and Thabo Sefolosha go against each other in this game. Morrison was able to display his very crafty scoring ability against the defense of Sefolosha, and did so without forcing too many shots.

The bulk of Morrison’s points came from the 5-15 foot range, where he showed a great feel for getting the ball to the basket while drawing contact in the paint. A few of these shots came in transition, where Morrison took the ball into the defense, and made a couple off-balance circus shots. In the half court, the second year forward was given plenty of space to operate, and constantly moved off the ball and around screens to try and free himself for a shot. With the added space of Sam Vincent’s offense, it will be much easier for Morrison to create scoring chances this season.

Defensively, Morrison pressured his man well on the perimeter, but struggled with the quicker Thabo Sefolosha off the dribble. Defensive will probably never be a strength for the former Gonzaga stand-out, but you would like to see a better effort from him in this area.

Thabo Sefolosha, 20 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 7/13 FG, 6/9 FT

Sefolosha not only played lock-down defense over the course of the game, but also played very aggressively on the offensive end as well. The bulk of his points came on drives to the hoop, where he made some very crafty finishes over the course of the game. On one drive, Sefolosha avoided one defender and made a left handed finish while taking a foul from a help defender inside.

As a rookie, Sefolosha struggled with his shooting stroke. Despite a consistent release point, the guard from Sweden releases the ball low, and struggled with his footwork while shooting off the dribble. Though his shot still appears to be flat, Sefolosha has improved his ability to shoot off the dribble. He knocked down a couple 20 footers in the game off of high and pick and rolls while running the point. Sefolosha played the lead guard spot for much of the game, showing good vision and running the offense smoothly. In the future he will be able to team up with Ben Gordon or Kirk Hinrich while playing either guard spot.

Defensively, Sefolosha played like a veteran, pressuring his defender and creating turnovers without constantly gambling in the passing lanes. This ability may give him a chance at rotation minutes with the Bulls this season.

Jared Dudley, 9 points, 3/3 FG, 3rebounds, 2 assists

Dudley may lack a true position for the NBA, but the guy can flat out play basketball. He played the majority of his 20 minutes at the 3, and was able to lockdown whoever he was guarding on defense. Though the lack of quickness from Dudley raised concerns about him defending the 3 in the NBA, he uses superior positioning and effort to excel in this area. Offensively, the majority of Dudley’s points came from the perimeter, where he knocked down 2 perimeter jumpers off the dribble. Dudley may not have the upside of many first round picks in the 2007 draft, but he can step in as a rookie and play role immediately.

Jermareo Davidson, 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 6/12 FG

Much like at the pre-draft camp, Davidson displayed good touch on the offensive end, as well as some nice moves out of the post. 3 of his field goals resulted from face-up jumpers after he caught the ball with his back to the basket. On one possession, Davidson had the ball facing the basket from 15 feet and made a nice drive to his left while knocking down the jumper on the move. Defensively, he had a nice impact as a help defender from the weak side, though he struggled with man to man defense against Aaron Gray. The Bobcats will need to work with Davidson on playing hard on a consistent basis. There are times when he’ll just quit on a play, or miss a rebound that goes right through his hands. Davidson also needs to spend a lot of time in the weight room improving his frame.

Aaron Gray, 10 points, 10 rebounds, 4/7 FG

Gray showed his value to the Bulls in his second summer league game, scoring a few baskets on the low block while effectively getting position inside and rebounding. His touch isn’t the greatest in the world, but he does have enough moves as to where he can get his shot off with success. The hook shot was the most effective weapon for Gray offensively, and he can probably translate this to the NBA as well. On the glass, the rookie center fights for position as soon as the ball is in the air and uses his strength to fight off opposing players for the rebound. He will need to adjust to the defensive rotations of the NBA, but Gray was an excellent value for the Bulls, and should stick around for a while.

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