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Orlando Summer League Day 2: Studs, Duds
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On July 11, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,NBA Summer League | No Comments
The second day of the Orlando Summer League is in the books and unlike the first day we saw some really noteworthy performances from two of the best guards in attendance. The teams were rid of the first-day jitters and had a little bit better of a feel for each other, which led to an improved level of play. Here’s a look at the studs and duds from Tuesday.
Lance Stephenson (Indiana Pacers, Point Guard)
The Pacers have told Stephenson they want to see him run the point and set his guys up, which he’s done at a high level so far through two games. He’s always going to be an instinctive scorer, though, that’s his game. He got the sense early on that the Thunder couldn’t contain him and he capitalized, dropping 28 points to go along with his seven dimes. He now has 13 assists with just two turnovers, a major sign of improvement for the converted shooting guard.
Austin Daye (Detroit Pistons, Power Forward)
There is a gluttony of big men on the Pistons roster right now and where Daye fits in is not exactly certain. He couldn’t have made a much better case for playing time for Tuesday as he erupted for 24 points. He missed just two shots on the day, going 8-10 from the field, 3-3 from beyond the arc and 5-5 from the charity stripe. His touch from long range gives him something that the rest of the Pistons’ big men don’t have.
Jacob Pullen (Philadelphia 76ers, Point Guard)
With former reserve point guard Louis Williams now a member of the Atlanta Hawks the 76ers are in need of some depth behind Jrue Holiday. That message has obviously gotten across to Pullen, who has been lighting it up in Orlando. After putting up 15 points in his first game he came through big again in game two against the Utah Jazz with 23 points and four dimes. Pullen is definitely playing well enough to warrant consideration by the 76ers if they want the same type of offensive-minded presence behind Holiday.
Justin Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers, Small Forward)
Jrue campaigned hard for his older brother on twitter and against the Jazz he backed him up with a strong 17 point, seven rebound performance while playing out of position. Holiday’s versatility and unselfishness are really helping him in his quest to make it to the NBA. He’s really a natural perimeter player, but he’s been willing to help Philly out inside out of need. A lot of players wouldn’t be willing to do that in a situation like this where it’s their best shot at making a team.
Alec Burks (Utah Jazz, Shooting Guard)
Admittedly motivated by his mediocre day one, Burks shined as much as anybody on day two. He went off against the 76ers, scoring 31 points on 10-14 shooting from the field and 10-11 from the free throw line. He was even 1-2 from the three-point line, where he traditionally struggles. Burks’ aggression and efficiency are something that need to translate over into the regular season for the Jazz to continue their progression.
Orlando Johnson (Indiana Pacers, Shooting Guard)
Known for his scoring coming out of UC-Santa Barbara, Johnson has not had the touch here in Orlando. He was 6-19 on the first day and was a woeful 0-10 on day two. What’s saving Johnson right now is that he’s doing a good job of hitting the boards and creating shots for his teammates. He’s a little banged up right now and may not have an opportunity to make up for his poor offensive showing until training camp.
Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder, Center)
The Thunder signed Hasheem Thabeet to be their third center. However, with the way Aldrich has been performing here in Orlando he may be moving up the depth chart before his first practice. He had just two points in 18 minutes against the Pacers, limited due to a whopping seven fouls during that stretch. This was a chance for Aldrich to validate himself and potentially get a head start on earning a spot in the rotation. Instead, he’s looking like a rare draft miss for the Thunder.
Justin Harper (Orlando Magic, Small Forward)
The one thing you can say about Harper’s day two performance is that he did not show any shyness at all. His jumper clearly wasn’t on point, but it didn’t stop him from getting up 14 shots, seven from distance. He did have seven boards and two blocks, but his five fouls and three turnovers cement his spot on the duds list.
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