Monday, July 8, 2013

NBA Summer League Notes from

Republished, with permission, from and our buddy Kels Dayton. Kels knows his college and pro basketball, and you can hear him every Sunday at 5 pm talking hoops with us on our "Taking You to School" podcast. 

By Kels Dayton  @RoundballDaily
Two days into the NBA Summer League, and it's clear: Victor Oladipo is the face of the entire operation. He's played well, averaging 15 points, 6 assists, and 4.5 boards per game, and his effort and class-leading athleticism on both ends of the floor have been impressive. But that's not the only reason he's been the league's most intriguing player. For one thing, Oladipo is playing in his future home--and the Magic are happy to have him on site already. For another, he's the highest draft pick on display in Orlando, as Anthony Bennett and Cleveland won't play until next week in Vegas. But the biggest reason Oladipo has been the talk of the Summer League is that the Magic have him playing the point.

While it's unclear whether or not Orlando plans to use him at point guard once the real games start, it's wise for a number of reasons. At 6-4, Oladipo is small for a shooting guard, and there haven't been a ton of twos who have made their living as slashers in the NBA. If he can develop into a point guard, or at least a guy who can bring the ball up and run the offense every once in a while, it would benefit him greatly. Playing the point in summer league also allows him to get more comfortable with the ball in his hands, more comfortable making decisions, and more confident as a leader.

Oladipo can become immersed in the offense, better get to know his teammates, and work on facilitating for others, something that figures to be a strength of his in the NBA. He's struggled a little bit with turnovers, but that's to be expected after being thrown into this position so quickly. It's been a whirlwind few days for Oladipo, as he signed with Orlando the day before taking the court for the first time. Some experts thought that the Magic whiffed by passing on Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore at the No. 2 spot, guys who have arguably more upside than Oladipo. But his early Summer League performance has the Magic looking like winners. He's going to be a good player.  

Michael Carter-Williams is all over the place

 It's a little premature to be putting stock in how these rookies perform in Summer League, but after two games the Sixers rookie point guard has been well...everything. In game 1, the former Syracuse star scored 26 points (something he didn't even do in college last year), put up 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds. That's great, except for the fact that he also turned the ball over 9 times. Carter-Williams was much more under control in game 2, putting up 13 points and 7 dimes and not turning it over once.

But he was also a -20 on the day, so there's that. Whatever happens with MCW, one thing is clear: the Sixers are going to miss Jrue Holiday. Let's be honest: Philly is going to be god-awful next year. They might be the worst team in the league. But whether or not they get Andrew Wiggins or one of the top prospects in next year's draft, Philly is going to miss Jrue Holiday. You don't usually trade away up-and-coming All-Star point guards, and the Sixers made a major gamble in doing so.  

Kelly Olynyk Playing Well

Shout-out to RoundballDaily 's 2012 Financier of the Year Brendan Greeley, whose dream of a Gonzaga alum playing for the Celtics has finally come true. He's filled with the excitement of a thousand Dick Vitales at JJ Redick's bar mitzvah. Olynyk has played well for the C's thus far, putting up 25 points in game 1 and following it up with a solid game 2 performance in which he cashed a pull-up three and evoked a Kevin McHale reference on an up-and-under move down low. Like the Sixers, there's a good chance the Celtics might suck next year, so Olynyk's development may be one of the few things C's fans can look forward to. (Sorry, Greels).  

Trey Burke underwhelming

The Utah Jazz rook went a paltry 1-for-12 from the field in his only game thus far and put up just 8 points and 5 assists. At 5-10, he just looks small out there, and that's not a good sign. It's only one summer league game, but Burke needs to find his groove amongst the trees in the NBA. Another guy who looks in over his head is Pistons rookie Peyton Siva, who put up only 4 points in 21 minutes against the Celtics on Monday. With a little more size, both guys would be fine in the league. They were two of the best college players in the country last season, and faced off against one another in the NCAA title game. But the size in the NBA is freakish, and both guys are going to have to adjust their games to be successful.

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