Photo via Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic
Alton Clark of NBA Playbook is covering the 2012 Orlando Pro Summer League on behalf of Magic Basketball. This is Alton’s roundup of Day 2.
Pistons 79, Magic 74
- On the second day of Summer League in Orlando, the Magic suffered their first defeat of the week at the hands of the Detroit Pistons. As a team, the Magic shot 1-for-13 from three-point range and lacked the fluidity on offense that was there on Monday. Despite this, there were still some players who stood out and took advantage of the opportunity to impress the Magic braintrust (general manager Rob Hennigan as well as assistant general managers Scott Perry and Matt Lloyd), which sat courtside during the game.
- Six-foot point guard Kevin Anderson worked out his nerves from the opening game yesterday and had a great game off the bench for the Magic. Anderson pushed the ball in transition, was a pest defensively, and was one of the few Magic players who shot the ball well. The most effective part of Anderson’s game today was his dribble penetration. Anderson used his quickness to make an initial dribble move (in-and-out, hesitation, or crossover dribble) that put the first line of defense on their heels and opened up a driving lane down the middle of the floor. Anderson would penetrate just to the point where the defense collapsed and either pulled up for a jumper or floater, or kicked it out to the open man. Although his teammates weren’t hitting shots, Anderson showed he can get other players involved while attacking full speed.
- In the first half, Kyle O’Quinn was a man among boys when it came to battling Detroit’s frontline. “KOQ” seemed like he had a personal vendetta against the No. 9 overall pick and center Andre Drummond. O’Quinn made sure Drummond felt him on every play both offensively and defensively. So much so that Drummond was visibly frustrated and started delivering extra pushes and elbows at O’Quinn after the whistle. When asked about it, O’Quinn stated, “The physical play is something I like. When you play physical like that, there’s no ticky-tack fouls, there’s nobody that’s going to get the upper edge. I don’t care who you are. You go [No. 1 or No. 60 in the draft]. It doesn’t matter. We like that kind of play. That was a physical game and I think it should be played like that sometimes.” O’Quinn was then asked by a member of the media if he knew that Drummond was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. O’Quinn gave a befuddled facial expression, widened his eyes and said, “Are you aware of it? It don’t matter to me.”
Jazz 84, Sixers 80
- There is no question at all about Enes Kanter’s strength. There does seem to be some concern about his mobility. Listed at 267 pounds right now, Kanter would be a lot more explosive with his first step if he lost 10-12 pounds. Kanter has good footwork, but it seems like he’s almost too top-heavy when he makes a quick reaction, which causes him to lose his balance. This was especially evident on his low post spin to the baseline on one possession.
- Alec Burks had the best performance of any player in Orlando’s Summer League after the first two days. Burks, who is primarily known as a shooter, demonstrated exceptional body control on his drives to the rim. He converted a couple of and-one plays in addition to some acrobatic layups where he used the rim as protection from the high-flying defense. On his success today Burks said, “In a setting like this, I’m able to do a lot more things off the dribble. People don’t understand that I can play [point guard] too.” I doubt Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin will let Burks play point guard, but if he continues to have performances similar to this one, he will definitely force the Utah coaching staff to implement sets just for him when the regular season rolls around.
- Jacob Pullen continued his solid, efficient play today. Pullen has been the rock for the Sixers’ offense and their most consistent shooter. Despite playing with two bottomless basketball pits in Xavier Silas and Justin Holiday, Pullen found a way to have a positive impact on the scoreboard while keeping his teammates involved.
Pacers 78, Thunder 74
- Known as a scorer in high school and at Cincinnati, Lance Stephenson has been primarily a ballhandler and distributor for the Indiana Pacers. Stephenson has been excellent at using screens and putting the screening defender at a serious disadvantage. Given the fact that he is listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, “Born Ready” is huge for point guard standards and when he attacks a screening post player’s hip at full speed, he’s almost impossible to stop. Even though the Pacers agreed to terms with George Hill on a five-year, $40 million contract this offseason and Darren Collison remains on the roster, Stephenson still has a chance to be the back-up point guard for the Pacers when Hill needs a breather.
- Lazar Hayward was absolutely abusing former Purdue guard Chris Kramer on the offensive end. Kramer was known as a good defender in the Big Ten, but could not handle Hayward’s strength for a single isolated possession today. Hayward easily moved the former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year with his hips and shoulders in the mid-post, freeing himself up for a variety of uncontested shots. Hayward bullied his way to a strong 15 points and eight rebounds to lead Oklahoma City in both categories.
Celtics 82, Nets 73
- Jared Sullinger, welcome to the NBA, where a good game on Monday leads to serious defensive adjustments specifically for you today. The Nets left nothing to chance and decided to double Sullinger on his post catches early on. The 20-year-old rookie did not let this bother him and continued to make the right play consistently throughout the game. Sullinger’s basketball IQ was on display after the game when he said, “They collapsed on me in the post. I wasn’t expecting that, so it kind of threw me off-guard. I felt with a 7-footer, they would try just to contain me but they decided to bring the double. That kind of threw me off.” Although Sullinger failed to score in double figures, he grabbed 12 rebounds and helped lead his team to victory.
- Like the majority of his career, 2006 No. 3 overall pick Adam Morrison struggled to shoot the ball today, though he did make his impact on the game with his effort on the glass. Morrison grabbed 10 rebounds, many of which ignited fast break opportunities for MarShon Brooks or Tyshawn Taylor. Although Morrison will probably never live up to the expectations of his lofty draft selection, he still has a chance to land a contract as a second-unit wing player on an NBA team.
- Sixers first round pick Maurice Harkless strained his hip flexor on a ball screen in the first half of their game against the Jazz. He did not return to action. First round draft day trade acquisition Arnett Moultrie walked onto the floor immediately after warmups in his game uniform. Moultrie sat next to the coaching staff the entire game and never checked in. He will not play the entire week because of a sprained left ankle.
- Outside of dealing with Kyle O’Quinn’s physical punishment, Andre Drummond’s youth was on full display today (he turns 19 on August 10). In the second half, an official called a defensive three-second violation on the Sixers. The official elaborated and said the call was on No. 24 (Kim English). With English standing right in front of him, Drummond panicked and looked down at his own jersey to make sure he wasn’t No. 24. When he discovered he was No. 1, he let out a huge “Phew!”