Orlando Summer League, Day Four

Orlando Summer League, Day Four
Jul 13, 2006, 05:05 pm
Game Three Final: Indiana Pacers 89 -Miami Heat 81


Dorell Wright

Probably the best player today in an otherwise very underwhelming game was Dorell Wright. He did plenty of ball-handling and was fairly effective as a distributor once again today, using his quickness to get into the paint and dishing the ball out once the defense rotated. When the ball wasn’t in his hands he was extremely active, constantly in motion. He took the ball strong to the basket time after time with both hands and either finished or got to the free throw line. Wright doesn’t shoot the ball too often from 3-point range, but he does have a nice pull-up jumper he can go to. He looked very smooth today and appears to be gaining more and more confidence as the summer league goes on.

Earl Barron

Not quite as impressive as he was earlier in the summer league, Barron still did a nice job finishing around the basket and hitting his open jumpers when the opportunity presented itself. He knows where to move towards offensive and has good enough hands to make tough catches and then finish reliably from short distances. The pick and pop play with Dorell Wright was again a staple of Miami’s offense and Barron will knock down his shot more often than not. He in fact knocked down a 20 foot jumper just as the halftime buzzer expire. Barron was again just average as a rebounder and was a little too slow to react defensively.


Danny Granger

Granger got off to a slow start in the first half as his shots weren’t quite falling for him, but made a nice recovery in the 2nd to lead the Pacers back from a 16 point deficit to a 9 point victory. He hit a couple of shots from the perimeter coming off screens and was effective on the pick and roll as well. When given the opportunity he put the ball on the floor and went to the basket, taking contact as he finished at the hoop. Granger was also very active on the glass, and got to the free throw line plenty, but only hit 4 of his 9 attempts.

Taylor Coppenrath

Coppenrath had a nice showing here tonight, reminding us why he was so highly regarded coming out of Vermont last year. He was extremely aggressive in the paint, making good strong catches and using his terrific footwork and wide array of weapons to finish around the basket. His patience around the rim drew him quite a few fouls, and he got to the free throw line 11 times and converted every single of his attempts. Coppenrath played extremely hard and came up with a number of offensive rebounds. Defensively, he reacted intelligently and was smart enough to anticipate and get in the passing lanes. He may have been a bit too unselfish at times, passing up opportunity to show off his range from the perimeter, something that is an absolute must for him to get a legit chance at making the league.

Game Two Final: Orlando Magic 93- Chicago Bulls 87


Travis Diener

Diener might have had the most impressive shooting performances we’ve seen this summer so far, coming off a few games where he was surprisingly off. The shots he made were of the extremely difficult variety too, whether it was fallaway baseline jumpers, shifty off the dribble mid-rangers with a hand in his face, coming off screens and knocking down NBA 3's with a hand in his face, etc. He started off the game 6/7 from behind the NBA arc, and at one point scored 11 straight points in just over 2 minutes.

Diener wasn’t just an offensive threat, though, he also did a terrific job running his team’s offense as well. He made good, sound decisions and executed his team’s plays to perfection, always making sure to get everyone involved and not taking any shots that were outside of the context of the offense. His decision making is quick and sound and he always makes sure to get all of his teammates involved.

Matt Walsh

Walsh helped himself today with the way he played, giving the Magic a little taste of the different things he can bring to them in a contributing role. He took strictly good shots and did a good job freeing himself up for NBA 3's and mid-range jumpers. When his shot wasn’t there he had no problem giving up the ball and showed nice court vision and plenty of unselfishness in the process. He put the ball on the floor and didn’t look bad doing so, getting to the free throw line on a couple of occasions and finishing with his left or right hand on others. He seemed more under control than he was at his days at Florida, which is important considering what his role will be in the NBA, if he does make it.

Chicago Bulls

Aaron Miles

Miles was super solid once again, although his offense wasn’t quite as good as it was in the first three days. He made up for that by playing pesky pressure defense and doing a fantastic job of getting everyone involved. One thing that really stood out today was just how tough of a player he is. He went inside the paint on one occasion and threw up a pretty floater that unluckily rolled out. With opponents swarming all around him he went up and grabbed the offense rebound and attempted a put-back, and once that attempt rolled out as well went up a third time and put it home. He fights and scraps constantly but does it in an intelligent manner that always helps his team. And while he may have been a little unfortunate with some of his attempts, he did continue to show a willingness to score and take good shots, which is important for him. He did hit a few mid-range jumpers eventually.

Speaking of allstar summer league point guards, John Lucas has parlayed his fantastic performances in Vegas into quite a few offers for guaranteed NBA contracts. He is currently looking at no less then 5 offers for two year guaranteed contracts from teams in search of a backup point guard. The two teams believed to be in the lead currently are his current summer league club Houston as well as the Phoenix Suns, who like his potential to push the tempo of the game and run their dynamic offense behind Steve Nash. His agent David Falk is currently sifting through the offers, and there is even some thought that he might command more than the minimum considering how well he’s played so far. Lucas is currently averaging 23.4 points per game in Las Vegas (2nd in the league) and 7.6 assists (1st in the league) on 51% shooting from the field and 43% from behind the NBA 3-point line.

Tyrus Thomas

A much weaker game from Tyrus Thomas, who could very well be exhausted after playing his fourth consecutive game in as many days. He didn’t look for his offense as much as he did in previous games, and was a bit slower to get out and crash the glass. What again stood out was the fact that Thomas doesn’t seem to know what the range on his shot is, and therefore forces things that are out of his repertoire rather than playing closer to the hoop. His handle looked quite shaky when trying to make things happen off more than one or two dribbles (turning it over or being called for a charge), but he did hit a couple of good looking pull-ups on other occasions. Defensively he showed his quickness and leaping ability by coming up with a few very impressive blocks.

Drago Pasalic

Pasalic looks like a solid candidate to make the Bulls and could be a very nice investment considering his unique skill-set and the fact that he is still only 21 years old. He once again looked very good facing the basket and hitting spot-up 3's and mid-range jumpers and numerous times put himself in the right spot at the right time. Although its not his biggest strength, he isn’t terrible in terms of going after rebounds. If the Bulls don’t pick him up, he’d be a great investment for a very good European team.

Thabo Sefolosha

The Bulls sent the exhausted Sefolosha home as they saw more than enough from him in the first two games and the numerous practices they’ve seen. Sefolosha hasn’t had a rest in quite some time after playing a long Italian league season and then working his way through over a dozen workouts leading up to the draft.

Game One Final: New Jersey Nets- 92 Charlotte Bobcats 87


Josh Boone

Another very solid showing from Josh Boone. He was active and productive on both ends of the floor and did many of the things New Jersey will ask him to do for them next year. Boone used his body to carve out space inside the paint and caught a number of difficult passes due to his excellent hands. He is very reliable from 5-8 feet out and did not disappoint with his finishes. Boone is very good at running the floor and scored a number of points just by being in the right place at the right time. His chemistry with Marcus Williams obviously does not hurt him here. Defensively, he came up with a number of big blocks, moved his feet well and was fundamentally sound. He also boxed out well for rebounds.

Marcus Williams

Williams was very good today once again, not shooting the ball quite as well as he did earlier in the summer league, but still doing a fantastic job running his team and making everyone around him better. He got right into the heart of the defense a number of times and made some fantastic passes to his big men for easy finishes. His court vision is second to none and Williams sees things immediately as they happen and reacts accordingly, especially with the way he feeds the post. He is outstanding in transition and delivers the ball crisply and accurately with absolutely no hesitation. In the first half he didn’t score a point, air-balling a mid-range jumper and settling for another that missed badly. He needs to improve the mechanics of his jump-shot and get his release much quicker. In the second half his offense came along much better and he knocked down a number of 3-pointers when the defense sagged off him a bit. Occasionally he would try to do a little too much with the difficulty of passes he tries to make, but that comes with the territory when you are talking about such a gifted playmaker.

Antoine Wright

The focal point of New Jersey’s offense, Antoine Wright did not disappoint the Nets today with the way he responded. He came off screens repeatedly and did a very nice job making his way to the basket and using his strength to finish strong. Wright is good at creating and absorbing contact and got tot he free throw line many times this way. He realizes that simply moving off the ball and getting into places that he is comfortable in is a surefire way to get points with a playmaker like Marcus Williams next to him, and the two are beginning to develop very nice chemistry between them. His jumpers were falling for him all day as well, even from NBA range. Wright was the recipient of a number of easy baskets, particularly in transition, and all in all his stat-line might be a little more impressive than it actually looked. It’s tough to gauge how much his summer league performance translates to the NBA since he noticeably lacks quickness and still doesn’t play strong enough defense (particularly on Morrison today) to project him as a rotation player in Lawrence Frank’s system.


Adam Morrison

Morrison had another very impressive Morrison-esqe performance, showing off a complete and incredibly polished offensive repertoire and being a natural go-to guy for his team in every moment he was on the floor. Whether it was utilizing his excellent ball-handling skills to drive either left or right and finish with a beautiful floater, or scorching the net from the perimeter with his sweet jump-shot, Morrison could not be contained no matter how hard the defense tried. When being cramped on the perimeter he would promptly take his man inside the post and back him down for a hook shot or turnaround jumper. Despite being extremely skinny, he is tough enough to take contact and finish and is relentless in the way he continues to put pressure on the defense and get to the free throw line. One example is in the way he’ll put the ball on the floor and bump right into his defender to create space and then jump straight backwards to knock down the shot. If allowed to continue forwards along the baseline, he’ll surprise with a pretty but highly unorthodox hook shot from 8 or 9 feet out.

Sean May

May continues to impress with the new-found versatility he shows in his all-around game, particularly with his jump-shot which looked great today. In one 3 minute sequence he nailed consecutive jump-shots from 22 feet, 18 feet, a step-in from 16 feet, and NBA 3, and then an 18 footer, all with no hesitation whatsoever. He also put the ball on the floor well with either hand and then switched hands to effectively come up with the finish. He was super aggressive with his spin-moves and shows a lot of smarts in recognizing angles. Offensively he came up with a number of rebounds and didn’t rush to go back up and put them home. His lack of lift is a factor here which makes him need to be much smarter than his defenders, which he usually is.

Marcus Campbell

Campbell had another semi-solid outing, using his terrific size (7-0) and width to crash the glass and play fairly solid defense. He is in slightly better shape than he was last year, but still has a ways to go conditioning wise. He is working very hard here and seems to understand what it will take for him to make the team. It wouldn’t shock me at all if someone signed him as 6 fouls to bring off the bench.

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