So the SummerWizards dropped their first summer league contest to the SummerKings 75-64 earlier today, and didn't look very good doing it. With the exception of one nice stretch in the third quarter, the SummerWizards trailed the entire game, and they were outscored 23-8 in the fourth quarter. The Kings took the lead on a fast break dunk by Justin Williams and never looked back.
Only one of the Summer League Big 3 impressed me at all. Dominic McGuire looked fantastic, and I really wish he shot more than 6 shots. He looked like he could defend the wing, particularly when matched up with Francisco Garcia. He also can really board on both ends, and I was also impressed at his ability to finish in traffic. In short, I can guarantee you that he gets some burn this season as a backup to Caron. 25 minutes and 6 shots isn't enough for this guy.
The two marquee players, Nick Young and O-Pec, really struggled. Young shot only 3-11 from the field, but while he missed open shots I know he can make, he also demonstrated some of the concerns scouts had about him. It seemed like he wasn't engaged unless he had the ball, as he struggled defensively and only grabbed one rebound. I also noticed he hung his head a lot, and stopped taking the ball to the basket after a certain point. I hope he isn't this easily rattled in the future.
O-Pec had a couple nice plays, but missed all his jumpers and was beaten numerous times on the glass. It really didn't seem like he was willing to mix it up inside.
Beyond the Big 3, the only guy that really stood out to me was Danilo Pinnock. I liked his athleticism on both ends of the court, and I could totally see him taking Donnell Taylor's spot.
To be totally fair, we're talking about summer league here. Not only that, but we're also talking about a really weak summer league roster. Most teams have at least one guy with legitimate NBA experience. Sacramento had Francisco Garcia, Justin Williams, and Quincy Douby on their roster, for example. But this Wizards roster has a couple rookies and a bunch of guys from the scrap heap. It really did show today with their ragged offense.
Dave from Blazers Edge was in attendance and sent me this postgame report.
--Oleksiy Pecherov is not what I'd call a banger. He seemed to be able to hit the outside shot when given space but his release is really s...l...o...w. He has a nice enough first step on offense but that didn't seem to translate into guarding quick guys on the perimeter on defense. When he he defended inside thought it seemed like the old "stay in front of the big man, throw your arms up at the last moment, and pray" routine. He looks like a tweener to me...not big or physical enough to defend inside but not quick enough to defend outside. That said he has fundamentals and seemed to know where he should be on the court.
--Dominic McGuire looked really impressive in this game. Obviously you saw the offensive production inside and out. He seemed more athletic than most everyone on the floor today. He looks like he can stay with people on the perimeter, which is where they had him defending today. He stayed in front of quicker guys. He got a couple of bogus interior fouls called while defending drives too. That's what happens in Summer League. All of these speed demons get automatic whistles every time their feet hit the lane. It'll be different in the actual games. McGuire rebounded too. I like him from what I saw.
The next game is tomorrow against Rodney Stuckey and the SummerPistons. Tip time is 6 PM Eastern.