Each day in summer league, Basketball Insiders recaps the day’s action with our studs and duds.
Sporting a new haircut and some additional muscle, Snell dominated against the Clippers. Most impressive was his three-point shot, as he drained 5-7 from beyond the arc. He also looked a bit more athletic than in the past, with some nice plays driving to the basket off one foot.
Snell doesn’t look like he is going to be a guy who can really get past his defender one-on-one, and he finished with zero assists despite having the ball quite a bit. Most notably, he missed Doug McDermott on several 2/3 pick and pops. But Snell’s primary weakness his rookie year was the fact that his shot did not go in. He remedied that problem for at least a night.
Exum showed why I had listed him as the number two prospect on my board, at least for one night. His quickness was electric, and he also showed the ability to find teammates off his drives, although a lot of his passes led to foul shots and weren’t scored as assists. Most importantly, he competed hard off the ball, though he of course had a long way to go in that area. That had looked like his biggest weakness coming in.
He did struggle later in the game when he was guarded by some quicker point guards who got into him. He will need to tighten up his handle. When I asked him about it after the game, he said he will combat that by trying to do a better job of getting to spots, running the offense, and knowing where the space is.
Unfortunately I did not catch as much of Harris as I would have liked, but he shot the lights out along with the entire Denver team in a first half that was one of the best in summer league history; the Nuggets put up 60 points in 20 minutes. Harris was all over the place offensively, running pick and roll, hitting the glass, and shooting the lights out (5-10 on threes). Overall it was 33 points on 21 shooting possessions for Harris in 35 minutes.
Miller was another key to the Nuggets’ onslaught, with 23 points on 14 shooting possessions. He was a picture of efficiency, doing most of his damage from three (4-5) and the free throw line (9-11). Although Miller has never quite regained the explosiveness he showed before tearing his ACL in high school, the Chicago product* still has length and a soft jumper. At only 21, he could well have a solid career ahead of him still.
The third pick in the 2013 draft, Porter’s first year was a massive disappointment. He struggled with a hip injury, and was never in Washington’s rotation. With the departure of Trevor Ariza and injury to Martell Webster, Porter will be needed this year in Washington even with the arrival of Paul Pierce.
Porter was excellent on Saturday with 25 points on 17 shooting possessions. He also made some nice plays running the pick and roll. However, Porter got most of his points on midrange jumpers, which may not be replicable during the season. Midrangers are not the most efficient way to score in the long-term, and those shots are not the ones that will be available to him as a complementary player in Washington. Still, it was the first time in more than a year Porter was effective on the basketball court. It was a good sign.
McDermott appears here on more of a technicality, as his shooting was a disappointment at only 2-8. He was not really effective getting his own shot, as his attempts to post up usually resulted in the ball getting knocked away because he wasn’t getting good enough position. He did manage 10 points by making threes and getting to the line for five attempts. That said, he did look like he belonged at the three from an athleticism standpoint. He isn’t a great athlete, but he moves well enough laterally and he executes the system as a team defender. If he can come in, drain shots, and not get killed defensively he will be a rotation player for the Bulls. But for one night at least, Harris (for whom McDermott was traded along with Jusuf Nurkic) looked like he will be the superior player.
The 13th pick shot 5-12 from the field and had five turnovers in his NBA debut. He looks very far away, but his athleticism at least gives enough reason to think he might get somewhere ultimately. He shows a lot of pop with his moves, and definitely has the speed to get by his man. He just was not able to do a whole lot of it just yet.
Schroder was a summer league darling last year with his quickness, ball pressure, and vision. Unfortunately it appears he has not advanced much in the intervening year. He started last year in Atlanta’s rotation, but quickly fell out in favor of Shelvin Mack. A big problem for Schroder is his skinny frame, but he didn’t appear to have added much weight.
Another problem is his shooting, both on jumpers and at the rim. Based on Saturday, that had not particularly improved either, as he managed only 2-13 from the field with only 2 assists and a -24 as Atlanta got waxed by the Wizards.
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