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 3.
Jazz 79, Magic 75
- While resting the majority of his starters in the second half, Magic Summer League coach Mark Price gave his front office executives a chance to evaluate the entire roster. “We’re going to play these other guys, give them an opportunity, see what they can do, and that’s what we did.” Dominique Sutton was the lone Magic bench player who somewhat took advantage of the additional playing time. Sutton’s contributions to the game cannot be seen in the box score. The North Carolina Central graduate is a stereotypical “glue” guy and can make an impact on the game without touching the ball. At 6-foot-5, he is a tweener between the small and power forward positions but Sutton’s athleticism makes up for what he lacks in height. He is very active on the glass and hustles on both ends of the floor. Although it is a serious long shot for Sutton to make an NBA roster, he could definitely make a living playing Euroleague ball.
- Tennessee Tech’s Kevin Murphy came into the 2012 NBA Draft as a serious scorer at the low-major level (2,019 career points) and the Utah Jazz decided to select him with the No. 47 overall pick. Early in the week, Murphy forced things offensively and, like most big-time scorers in college, over-penetrated frequently. Today, Murphy did a great job of setting his defender up on down screens and was a consistent catch-and-shoot threat throughout the game. Playing behind Alec Burks will take away some of Murphy’s reps during the regular season, but there’s no question he can develop to just as good of a shooter as Burks as his career progresses.
Celtics 85, Pacers 77
- With six players scoring in double figures, the Boston Celtics delivered a balanced attack in their eight-point victory over the Indiana Pacers. Syracuse’s Kris Joseph was the most efficient of them all, scoring 12 points, shooting 50 percent from the field (4-for-8), and grabbing 7 rebounds. Joseph’s confidence has raised to a higher level each day this week and it shows in his lack of hesitation to shoot the ball. Joseph understands how to score within the confines of the offense and has really good shot selection for a first-year professional player. Playing for Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim has prepared Joseph for the professional game and he seems comfortable as a Celtic already. It’s evident that Joseph understands how to use his strengths to better his team, as the Celtics were +26 with him on the floor against the Pacers.
- E’Twaun Moore wasn’t called upon much during his rookie year with the Celtics last season. Playing primarily the wing position in college, Moore has taken the reins as the starting point guard for this summer and has been damn good at it. And so far, he has matched the physical play of all the other point guards here in Orlando.
- When the Pacers drafted Miles Plumlee with the No. 26 overall pick in the first round, he was one of the most scrutinized selections of the entire draft. Many talking heads questioned Plumlee’s ability to consistently finish on the offensive end at the NBA level. Plumlee, primarily known as a rebounder and solid post defender had two huge, no dribble, drop-step hammers over Sean Williams and Fab Melo respectively. When asked if he talked any trash after dunking on Williams and Melo, Plumlee responded with, “I’m not a big trash talker. I let my dunks do the talking.”
Thunder 83, Pistons 62
- Since Sam Presti took over as general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2007, back when they were the Seattle SuperSonics, he has hit a home-run with his first round draft pick almost every single year. Some were starting to question if his first round selection in the shallow 2011 NBA Draft would pan out, but Reggie Jackson is starting to cease any of that talk. At the point guard position, Jackson has another burst that few here can match. He is as explosive offensively as any guard here and puts a lot of pressure on the defense with his constant pushing of the ball. With Eric Maynor still recovering from his season-ending knee injury last season, Jackson could make a push as the back-up to Team USA point guard Russell Westbrook.
Sixers 79, Nets 71
- With Jacob Pullen sitting out today with an ankle injury, there was going to be a battle for his shots between basketball leeches Xavier Silas and Justin Holiday. Holiday made up for the absence of Jacob Pullen, shooting 6-for-13 from the floor (4-for-4 from three-point range) for 18 points. Holiday has been slightly above-average in catch-and-shoot situations throughout the week, but was excellent today. However, Holiday’s dribble moves rarely free him up from the first line of defense, especially if he attempts to make a move with his left hand. If Holiday wants to have a chance to play in the NBA like his brother (Jrue), he is going to need to become a consistent shooter who never attempts to take a dribble for any reason whatsoever.
- One word can be used to describe the Nets’ Bryant Dunston: efficient. The 6-foot-8 power forward knows his role and doesn’t attempt to do anything that is out of his natural skill-set. He plays with intensity and takes pride in the little things (setting solid screens, making sure his man has no chance of getting an offensive rebound on a block out, spacing the floor more than usual so he can give his guards larger driving lanes). Dunston might not draw any interest from NBA teams, but playing in the Euroleague would fit his game perfectly.
- Arguably, there hasn’t been a better overall point guard here than Villanova’s Maalik Wayns and Magic Summer League coach Mark Price has taken notice. “He’s done nothing but helped himself in a lot of people’s eyes. Not only ours, but he’s leaving to go somewhere else after tonight so we won’t even have him anymore. I think he’s probably played himself into an opportunity to get an NBA job so I really like him a lot. He’s got a great heart, great motor, and I wish him the best.” Wayns will be playing in Las Vegas with the Golden State Warriors’ Summer League team.
- Being a second round pick, the Nets’ Tyshawn Taylor is not guaranteed a spot on their roster. That hasn’t stopped Nets’ second year player MarShon Brooks from beginning his rookie hazing program. Local frozen dessert favorite “Jeremiah’s Italian Ice” was giving away free slushies in the Amway Center media meal room. When Brooks recognized this, he turned to Taylor and said “Hey rook, go in there and get me one of those.” Taylor slowly glanced Brooks up and down, then proceeded to walk to the counter with a disgruntled face. Brooks’ flavor of choice? A peach-strawberry-mango blend.