Summer League Game 1 Recap

Summer League Game 1 Recap

The Nets ended up losing to the Sixers in their first summer league game yesterday.  It was a pretty intense and competitive game, and despite the loss I think the Nets players fared very well individually (and in my opinion, that is the most important aspect of summer league games).  Let’s breakdown some of the key individual performances:

Terrence Williams:

I don’t usually like to quote myself (that’s a lie), but here is what I wrote before the game yesterday:

Honestly though, I am excited to see Terrence Williams play.  Most guys who have NBA experience tend to do much better in Summer League games because they are used to NBA-speed. If Williams has a good game, we don’t want to make too much of it, but if he struggles, it might be a little bit worrying.

Well, Terrence Williams had a fantastic game.  You might remember the way CDR and Marreese Speights just jacked up a ton of shots last year, well T-Will was determined to dominate the game a different way, with his passing.  T-Will had  plenty of opportunities to attack the rim and get a shot, but he was under control trying to find teammates.  Williams had 7 assists yesterday, and it could have been in the 15-20 range if the guys he was passing to were knocking down shots.  He also showed some pretty good body control on his drives:

Last year, that is a charge. Here is another one of Williams’ passes:

That’s the Terrence Williams special right there.  The one-handed zip pass off the dribble.  It wasn’t all passing though, Williams also had two thunderous dunks:

Williams finished with 23 points (on 8-12 shooting) and 7 assists.  It is like I said before, guys with NBA experience generally do well in Summer League, so we shouldn’t get too excited, but this was a very solid performance.

Derrick Favors

Derrick Favors basically lived up to his draft day evaluations.  Extremely raw on the offensive end but willing to work, be active, and be athletic.  Favors finished with 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks.  He also had 7 fouls (you can’t foul out in summer league), and while some of them were bad fouls, I wouldn’t really worry about it because the refs had a really quick whistle and blew it often.

On defense, Favors looked pretty good and despite picking up a defensive three second call, he looked comfortable sagging off his man and providing help defense:

As you can see in the clip, Favors is in correct help position and when the ball gets driven to the lane, he blocks it. On the offensive end, you can see Favors’ athletic ability in the following play:

Here Favors does a good job floating to an open area, catching the pass, taking one quick dribble, and rising up for the dunk.  Other than that, you saw first hand Favors ability to post:

In the first video, Favors does a great job of running down the middle of the floor and basically pinning his man behind him. The only option is to let Favors make the catch in the paint or take the foul. His defender takes the foul. In the second clip, Favors does a great job of timing is cross-lane cut and seal, getting the ball in real good position.

What impressed me the most about Favors is the stuff that you can’t really work on is what he does well (he is active, works hard, and knows how to seal). What he needs to improve on is the easy stuff (being more patient after the catch and staying down on defense). I am excited to watch him play some more.

Damion James

Damion James had a typical Damion James game.  He played really good and aggressive defense on Evan Turner (who only had 12 points on 2-5 shooting), he knocked down a few shots, and just worked hard.  James finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds playing at the SF spot almost exclusively.  What’s the advantage of playing James at the SF spot instead of the PF spot?  The fact that he can bully guys in the post:

James just goes to the spot he wants to be at, and then when he makes the catch he bullies his defender to the rim where he can knock down that little turn around jumper.

Ben Uzoh

Uzoh is one of the two players on the summer league roster with a make-good contract.  With his size, Uzoh seems like he has a very good chance at making the Nets’ roster if he plays well this week and in the workouts that will take place afterwords.  Uzoh is 6’3″ and looks comfortable handling the basketball.  He also plays some pretty good defense:

Uzoh’s man knocks down the jumper despite Uzoh’s defense here. Uzoh stays in front of his man and forces him into a tough fallaway jumper, that is all you can ask for here. Uzoh finished with 11 points and 2 rebounds, though he didn’t play at the end of the game since he was pulled for Tweety Carter (who in my opinion didn’t look good at all). I think he was pulled because of this play:

That is a pass you can make when you are playing for Tulsa, but not a pass you can make in the NBA. I think as Uzoh starts to understand the speed and athleticism of the game at this level, you will see these type of turnovers disappear.

Brian Zoubek

Brian Zoubek was the second Net with a make-good contract and out of all the rookies, I was most unsure about his game.  However, as the game went on I was more and more impressed with his play.  He looked comfortable with the basketball in his hand, making a lot of good passes:

A great cut here by Terrence Williams and an even better pass by Zoubek who recognizes the cut and makes the pass leading Williams to the basket. He also had another nice lob from the high post to James in the low post. He also did a good job on the defensive end of taking charges:

What really impressed me about this play was Zoubek’s ability to recognize that he had to get himself above the “halo” to make the call an easy one for the officials.

Jakim Donaldson

I am going to level with you guys here, I have no idea who Jakim Donaldson is or where he is from.  Hell, even his player profile doesn’t show where he came from.  Adding to his anonymity, he didn’t play too much or have much of an impact on the game.  So why is he listed here?  Well, he kept Terrence Williams from getting into a fight with a Sixers player who blatantly shoved him on a drive to the basket.  This kept Williams from getting ejected or even suspended for a few games:

Thanks Jakim!

Avery Johnson, Sam Mitchell, and Tom Barrise

The Nets’ coaching staff were involved in a pretty cool moment that can only happen in Summer League basketball. After Terrence Williams cooled down (after the tough foul on T-Will), he started to head towards the bench. Before he gets there, Williams stops and walks towards the sideline where Avery Johnson called him over from. He then coached him up for a minute or so while Sam Mitchell and Tom Barrise watched, looking good I must admit.

The Nets are in action again tomorrow evening at 5:00 PM.  We will have another open thread up around 4 or 4:30 so look out for that.