The Washington Wizards picked up their second win of the 2013 Summer League season, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 78-77. It was a typical Summer League game filled with bad guard play and sloppy defense by both teams' bigs. Austin Rivers was dominant, scoring 23 points off of 13 field goal attempts, but it wasn't enough to overcome solid efforts from Chris Singleton and Glen Rice, Jr.
This was the last Wizards game until training camp so this was a bittersweet one. While Jan Vesely lost some of the momentum he'd built up over the last few games and it was unfortunate that Otto Porter was unable to play due to his hamstring injury, it was nice to go out with a win. Here are some thoughts on the key players' performances.
Jan Vesely had a slow start, making only one of five first quarter field goal attempts. He never really got going tonight and had a generally bad game. If there was any saving grace for him it was his defense, as he was very disruptive in the passing lanes and had a couple of rebounds. On the other hand, he was the team's primary rim protector while Austin Rivers took layup after layup. He's got to learn to move his feet and at the very least force guards into taking floaters. He finished with nine points and sat for most of the second half.
Glen Rice, Jr. was money tonight. He played under control and showed good shot selection on the way to a team-high 14 points. He blew a dunk and had to be calmed down by the coaching staff, though, which could be a sign that he hasn't completely eradicated the attitude that used to get him in trouble in college. His jumper was a thing of beauty tonight and he should be able to put up a lot of points for a backup shooting guard playing alongside Wall next year.
Chris Singleton was solid defensively and played more under control on offense. He didn't try to make as many plays off of the dribble as he had earlier in the Summer League season and looked like a passable third string small forward. More threes from the corner would be nice, but without a decent point guard to get him open looks, can you really blame him?
Austin Rivers isn't a Wizard but his performance deserves mentioning here. He looked like a beast and got to the rim at will, frequently drawing contact. He was bad in the NBA last year, though, and will probably continue to struggle when matched up against more athletic defenders and big men with better basketball IQs. That he can play so well is proof positive that everyone's performance should be taken with a grain of salt.
Sundiata Gaines finally showed some signs of life. He did a poor job of running the team and getting them into their sets, but he sort of made up for it by getting to the rim and the line a lot more than he had in the past. A lot of this can be tied to the Pelicans' poor defense.
More from Bullets Forever:
- Wizards vs Pelicans recap: Glen Rice, Jr. shines as Washington wins, 78-77
- Will the Wizards surpass the Big 3 era in 2013-14?
- Q&A: Nick Nurse discusses Glen Rice Jr's game, demeanor and more
- Randy Wittman dishes on Otto Porter, Jan Vesely, Glen Rice Jr. and more
- NBA Summer League: Otto Porter's struggles are more expected than startling