SBNation.com Recap (Via Evan Dunlap)
The Summer League rolls on, and even though Perry Jones III was out tonight because of a knee injury, the game was still fun to watch. Without Jones, the Thunder became a run it up and down the floor team, shooting early in the shot clock, running the break, and mainly using Cole Aldrich for rebounds. They ended up destroying a stale Pistons team that relied mostly on Andre Drummond and a bunch of streaky shooters. But, none of that really matters. Let's get straight into how the players did.
Garrett Temple, 15 Points, 6 Steals (Thunder Wonder)
After a relatively quiet first two days of the Summer League, Temple showed himself to be a more than capable player. To be fair, he's not really a complete player. Most of his scoring came during the first quarter on open threes, his man-to-man defense left something to be desired, and he fouled a three point shooter in the fourth. But as far as positioning and pure shooting goes, he knew exactly where he needed to be on the floor and he executed well. He once scored against three defenders on a fast break, and he had a nice stepback jumper during the fourth quarter. Plus, you don't steal the ball 6 times through luck.
Lazar Hayward, 15 Points, 4-13 Shooting, 4 Rebounds, 2 Turnovers (Thunder Down Under)
Hayward is frustrating to watch, but not necessarily in a bad way. He's not a guy who's going to get a lot of clean jumpers or dish off fancy assists, but he is a guy who's going to get points, one way or the other. You can look at his line in one of two ways. In one sense, he shot 30% from the field, as he was 4-13. In another sense, he got to the line 4 times and went 7-8, essentially shooting over 50%. Dennis Scott used the term "workman SF" when describing Lazar, and I think the term is apt. He'll exploit the game any way he knows how in order to defeat his opponent, man to man. And sometimes, teams need a guy who can straight up generate offense for them, without a play being set. It's always a roll of the dice, but I think Lazar Hayward could be that guy for the Thunder.
Cole Aldrich, 10 Points, 7 Rebounds, 2 Blocks (Thunder Blunder)
Most of his points came after the Pistons had already been blown out, and nobody was guarding him in the post. Aside from one garbage dunk, every single hook shot he made was totally uncontested. The credit goes to him for getting the shots up quickly, but he just can't seem to make shots when he's manned up in the post. Isn't the whole point of a hook shot for it to be uncontestable in the post when you're defended? When you're open and could just as easily dunk it, the whole thing seems unnecessary. Aldrich looks very one-dimensional and useless on offense right now, and that's a scary thing. Defensively, he's serviceable, but he didn't have the footspeed to keep up with Andre Drummond most of the time.
Below: Reggie Jackson, Dwight Buycks, Under the Radar Guys, Viewing The Enemy!
Reggie Jackson, 15 Points, 7 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 2 Turnovers, 7 Fouls
On Monday, I said Reggie Jackson looked like Russell Westbrook 1.0. Now, he looks like Russell Westbrook 2.0. Back then, he was senselessly charging into the lane constantly, drawing fouls and losing the ball. Now, he's more controlled, pulling up for that sexy mid-range jumper that we've come to know Westbrook for so well. He also pulled off a few sweet drives into the lane, one brilliantly taking advantage of Aldrich and Drummond running out of the lane, allowing him an open dunk. His assists have also improved, as he's willing to work with the offense and find open shooters. He did have 7 fouls, but it's the Summer League, so I'm not reading too much into that.
Dwight Buycks, 10 Minutes, 11 Points, 1 Assist, 2 Steals
This dude wants to play. The most telling sequence of the game, for me, was when the Pistons lazily inbounded the ball, he tipped it, ran to the edge of play to grab it, and then threw it off of a Piston defender to give us possession. Sure, it was in the fourth quarter of a blowout, but the effort was stunning nonetheless. His scoring was impressive, as he hit two nice stepback jumpers in the face of his defenders, and ran the break well. In short, watch out for this guy in the next few years.
Under the Radar
Latavious Williams, 2 Points, 4 Rebounds, 2 Assists
He moved the ball well, but I didn't see much from him offensively. He seemed to have trouble getting into the paint when he had the ball, though his willingness to pass the ball helped the team. His one score came off of a missed Hayward layup on the break, allowing him an easy putback.
Ryan Reid, 6 Points, 4 Rebounds, 2 Turnovers
Reid's jumper is looking a little bit more reliable as of late, as he hit two open shots today. He's kind of like D.J. White in that sense, except he's much more active in the post. He'll get a few nasty rebounds, and likely score off of a offensive rebound, as he did once today. He's a decent post defender as well.
Morris Almond, 6 Points, 3 Rebounds
He was alright. He had a nice floater entering the lane, got fouled once, and got a putback. But he missed an open three, and got blocked once. From what I've seen, he's a nice all-around shooting guard, but defensively, he focuses more on man-to-man than he does with pressure.
Joel Holland, 0 Points, 0-3 Shooting, 3 Rebounds, 3 Assists
To be honest, I didn't even write one note about this guy throughout the game. Maybe it's because his last name is too close to Almond. But props to him for the three assists.
Gary McGhee, 1 Point, 2 Rebounds, 2 Steals
His offense wasn't too impressive, as he was blocked by Andre Drummond once, and he fumbled an easy bounce pass from Lazar Hayward in the post. He was good at poking his hands around in the post though, as the steals show.
Marquez Haynes, 2 Points, 1 Steal
I think his points were scored on a drive to the hoop, but I'm not certain. Regardless, he hasn't been too much of a factor in this Summer League.
Austin Daye, 18 Points, 4 Rebounds
Daye is who you expect him to be. He's a great shooter for his size, able to hit contested jumpers and even a few floaters. But if he's going to play power forward, he's really going to have to step his post game up. He never battles for points down low, and he rarely gets rebounds.
Andre Drummond, 10 Points, 9 Rebounds, 4 Blocks (Thunder Plunderer)
He looked fantastic. In the first quarter he was totally dominating the Thunder front line (including Aldrich), and getting lots of rebounds. He tapered off a bit later in the game as the Pistons distribution totally fell apart, but he looks like he'll be a good compliment to Greg Monroe.
Brandon Knight, 5-17 Shooting, 3 Assists, 5 Turnovers
Pee-U. It looks like he got in a huge rut he could never get out of, constantly missing long range shots and not really doing much to distribute the ball. Once he stopped passing, the whole team fell apart, and the Pistons were blown out.
Who was your Thunder Wonder today? What did you think of the game? Vote in the poll, post a comment!