Photo by the Orlando Magic
The New Jersey Nets were able to defeat the Orlando Magic by the score of 94-91 on the third day of the 2010 Orlando Pro Summer League. For the Nets, it was the Damion James and Terrence Williams show. James led New Jersey with a game-high 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while Williams finished with 22 points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Although Williams scored quite a bit for the Nets, it took him 26 shots to get to his total. Efficiency be damned. Derrick Favors only had four points and five rebounds, given that he was saddled with foul trouble. The Magic were led by Joe Crawford, who had 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting (4-of-5 from the three-point line). Paul Davis chipped in for Orlando, also, with 16 points on five shots and seven rebounds. Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson didn’t do much.
For most of the game, it was a shoot-out between James and Crawford.
James, in particular, was phenomenal. Against the Magic, James scored in a variety of ways that would make Summer League onlooker, Kevin Durant, proud. For example, James was comfortable receiving the basketball in catch-and-shoot situations and knocking down three-pointers. Also, there were several times when James curled around a screen on the elbows and calmly sank mid-range jumpers. When James wasn’t too busy putting on a perimeter shooting display that only Crawford could imitate, he showed a wide array of moves at the rim. In the second quarter, in particular, James had two highlight-reel plays. On one possession, James received the ball on the left block and dunked it on multiple Magic defenders. On another possession, James had the basketball beyond the arc and made a sharp cut into the lane for a layup … and the foul. The thing that was most impressive about Williams, however, is that he didn’t force anything on offense. Almost all of James’ points came within the flow of the game. That type of maturity is eye-catching, and it’s becoming readily apparent that the Nets got themselves a steal in the 2010 NBA Draft.
James can play.
Williams had his moments, too. In the first quarter, Williams was able to get his jumper going in the 1/5 pick and roll with Brian Zoubek. But as the game progressed, Williams’ jumpshot left him and he was forced to adjust. Williams did do. Williams began to make a concerted effort to attack the basket, especially in the second half, and he was able to score in the paint. The one aspect of Williams’ skill-set that stood out, however, was his passing ability. Williams is a gifted passer for someone his size. Williams had a sequence in the fourth quarter that shows why he should have little trouble continuing to play some point guard, on occasion, for New Jersey. On two separate occasions, Williams dribble penetrated into the paint, forced the defense to react, and made two gorgeous feeds to Garret Siler for a layup and a dunk. Williams also has the supreme ability to drive-and-kick in an attempt to find open teammates for shots, as he was able to do so on a number of occasions against Orlando.
Crawford’s performance shouldn’t be overlooked, though. Crawford’s range in today’s game was unlimited, it seemed like, as almost every shot he put up was good immediately as it left his hands. It was an impressive shooting display from Crawford that would have stood alone on its own merit, if it wasn’t for the equally outstanding performance from James.
And from a macro perspective, the Nets and the Magic played an excellent game.
It was a treat to watch.