The Utah Jazz Summer League concluded on July 5, 2018, with the third day being arguably the best one of the three. While there were no games that rivaled the tight contest between Utah and Memphis in day two, the contests ended relatively closely. Some teams ended the Jazz Summer League on a much higher note than before, while others made a marginal improvement.
Unlike the first two days, the third day of summer league provided two games that provided satisfactory results for the fans.
Game 1: Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs
The score may have indicated a close game, but the Spurs had control of this one from the get-go, as they beat the previously undefeated Grizzlies 94-87. The Spurs, who had come out pretty flat against the Jazz in game one, were firing on all cylinders against the Grizzlies, as they shot 15-of-25 from beyond the arc, good for 60 percent for the game. This was led by Derrick White, who has been one of biggest stand-outs in the Jazz summer league, as he shot 8-for-17 including 5-for-8 from three-point land.
Spurs coach Will Hardy praised his team for their vast improvement since their first day at the summer league, primarily with the team’s improved defense and depth.
“Our defense and aggressiveness to start the game has been a huge difference for us,” Hardy said. “Last game, our defense drastically improved after the Utah game and then tonight, it was nice to add a few guys, Olivier Hanlen and Trey McKinney Jones, (who) helped us not have to stretch out a few guys’ minutes, and they were great tonight.”
Lonnie Walker IV had been quiet through most of his time in the summer league. That was until he suddenly exploded in the second quarter against the Grizzlies, as he seemingly couldn’t miss. He ended with 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three. Walker’s believed his bounce-back performance stemmed from making his first basket in the second quarter.
“Once you see that first shot go in, you get a little more confidence,” Walker said. “You get to play your game so seeing that go in, (then) the game got slower. Our teammates all came together a lot quicker. It was one goal: We all just wanted to win.”
Game 2: Atlanta Hawks vs. Utah Jazz
The Hawks showed great strides given the poor results from the first two games, but it wasn’t enough as the Jazz beat them 92-87. The Hawks refused to quit, as they fought their way back to take a lead a few times in the final quarter, but the Jazz pulled away. Though the Jazz starters put the game away, it was the bench that paved the way. Every single player on the second unit finished with a positive plus/minus, which made all the difference.
The real highlight of the game came around the beginning of the third quarter, when Trae Young and Grayson Allen got into a little skirmish after Allen had fouled Young. The two were later separated, but Allen cleared the air after the game.
“We got tangled up and that’s really about all there is to it,” Allen said. “It’s nothing. I mean you saw me and him after the game high fiving, hugging it up, smiling, so nothing more than a play in a very competitive and physical game.”
Allen had a repeat performance both in the good and the bad categories. Allen shot 2-for-13 from the field while also filling up the stat sheet with nine points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Coach Mike Wells pointed out that Allen’s performance was much different on the court.
“I liked his command of the game more,” Wells said. “Offensively, he was under more control… he still had rebounds, he still had assists, he still had the ball in his hands. We wanted the ball in his hands a little bit more tonight.”
Well, that concludes the Utah Jazz Summer League 2018. It left some intriguing storylines. Jaren Jackson Jr. looks like a stud among his peers. Trae Young looks like a dud among his peers, and, for better or worse, it’s safe to say that Utah faithful is fully embracing Grayson Allen.
‘Til next year fellas!
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