After getting off to a horrific start in the first two games of the Vegas Summer League where the Wizards combined for 121 points, Washington got back on track and looked like a real basketball team in their 97-69 win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night at the Cox Pavillion.
The Wiz Kids were led by Jan Vesely, who chipped in 18 points on 9-for-11 shooting, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. That stat line, however, did not give enough credit to his performance. Honza was confident, moving with some extra giddup all over the court, finding teammates, setting screens and tipping balls, giving fans reason for optimism that perhaps his game is growing and he can be a contributor to the team this year.
Before we start etching his name on the Most Improved Player trophy for next year we must temper our excitement though and remember the competition in Summer League is far different from what Jan will see in November. Albeit, for one night Jan got a hero’s exit by taking the 4th quarter off and a straight line for Craig Sager at the end of the game for an interview I’m still trying to translate.
The bigger story of course will be Otto Porter, Jr.’s hamstring which limited him to six minutes in which he was starting to show signs of a coming out party. Per CSN’s JMichael
— J. Michael (@JMichaelCSN) July 17, 2013
What exactly “up to speed” means after two subpar games is to be determined but hopefully the Wizards will stick around long enough in the new tournament format to see Porter get some more run before everyone packs up for the summer.
Glen Rice Jr. continued to make his case for some extended burn come training camp by adding 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting and overall looking more comfortable in the Wizards up-tempo offense.
My big concern as of now is what is going on with Chris Singleton. While leading the team with 10 rebounds, he looked out of whack on a ton of plays and looked like he is pressing really hard. Stop me if you’ve heard thisbefore but the thing he was most known for in college — defense — seems to be a weak point for him right now and that’s not a good thing on a team that is priding itself on its defensive play.
Washington got contributions from little known players like Dennis Horner, Ryan Thompson and Devin Booker and will look to build on this performance as the #2 seed in the “bottom bracket” of the Vegas Tournament.
The Wizards will take on the 0-3 Memphis Grizzlies who are led by Jack Cooley – no relation to Chris – , Donté Greene, Gerald Robinson and Vander Blue tonight at 6:30PM EST at the Thomas and Mack Center.
The winner of this game will take on the 5th seeded Charlotte Bobcats for a chance to move to the Quarterfinals of the Sin City Invitational which is in no way the official name of this tournament.
Here are the Wizards leaders after 3 games:
|2013 wizards Summer League Averages|
|Glen Rice Jr.||3||1||21.7||0.375||0.267||0.667||4.0||1.0||0.00||0.70||1.30||2.00||10.0|