Basketball is back. Sort of. The NBA Summer League started in Orlando on Sunday with multiple teams squaring off with players looking to live up to their hype in the draft or to solidify their spot as a true NBA player.
Here are some quick observations from Day 1. Just remember, though, its summer league.
Trey Burke, Utah Jazz
Utah drafted Burke with the hopes that he could fill the void left at the position by Deron Williams and various others.
Well, they may need to keep looking. He had a decent game distributing, but it looks like the skill that he made his name with in college, mainly his scoring, may come a little more difficult at the next level. He could not make space in the lane to finish, and his jumper was contested on multiple occasions leading to a horrific shooting day- 1-for-12.
Burke does not have the elite quickness in a guard and he isn’t does have much size, so he may have to look to distribute much more than he did in college. He may fall into the same problem Jimmer Fredette had his first few years of finding his offense after it came against much smaller, less athletic players.
Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder
The athleticism is legit. He seemed to be the quickest big man on the floor, getting to and changing a lot of shots around the basket. He also showed some offensive prowess rolling to the basket and catching an alley-oop from Jeremy Lamb. The offense will come around over time. Adams kind of reminded me of a New Zealand Festus Ezeli with better hands.
Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Great all-around game. He played some point guard, which was not what he was labeled at during the draft. But he handled the team well and did a bit of everything. His jumper was falling, but it seemed more streaky than fluid. He seemed to be the real deal, though.
Jarvis Vernado, Miami Heat
Vernado has an cctive body and seems to have found some semblance of a game around the basket. He always had good timing on the defensive end, and it continues to be true as he blocked three shots in the first quarter, including a nice rotation, sending a Utah jumper to what would have been about the 10th row. It looks like he has bulked up also since college and could probably fill a void for team that is thin up front.
Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics
Olynyk has a very polished inside-out game. It was on full display in his first professional game, scoring 25 points from all over the floor. His game may help alleviate the thoughts of tanking, yet I just don’t see Olynyk being able to carry Boston, but the combination of him and Jared Sullinger could be a problem down the road for some teams.
Rasual Butler, Indiana Pacers
He looked really old compared to everyone else. Some guys need to know when to say when.