The Wizards’ 2018 Summer League campaign got off to a slooooooooooow start in their 72-59 loss to the Cavaliers on Friday night. It was a slog for both squads, as they each shot under 36 percent from the field and combined for 46 turnovers in a 40 minute game.
In the end, Cleveland was able to win largely because they were able to get up more shots. They turned the ball over four fewer times than Washington, and won the rebounding battle 51-35. All the extra opportunities were too much for Washington to overcome, despite a 13 point, 4 rebound performance from Troy Brown in his Summer League debut, as well as 14 points and 5 rebounds from Devin Robinson.
The Wizards will return to action on Sunday afternoon as they take on the Spurs at 3:30 p.m., Eastern Time. San Antonio
- Troy Brown’s stat line wasn’t good (13 points on 14 shots, 5 turnovers, only 1 assist), but he struggled in all the ways you want a rookie to struggle. He didn’t look overwhelmed by the competition, and his mistakes were a byproduct of being too aggressive, not because he was shellshocked. He’ll need some time to figure out how to thread the needle on some of his passes and get smarter about how to attack the paint, but the guys who can put themselves in the position to make those kind of mistakes at a young age usually figure it out sooner than later.
- Robinson was another case of a player whose fearlessness, in spite of poor results, is an encouraging step forward. He looked a lot more confident in his role and how to function within it, even though he was just 4-of-11 from the field. It’s clear he spent time this season refining parts of his game that made him a liability and got more comfortable with doing the things he’ll need to do at a high level to carve out a role in the NBA. He’s still not there yet, but compared to how much he struggled last summer, he’s come a long way.
- Washington took a very inexperienced squad to Vegas, and it showed in this game. Aaron Harrison is the only player on the team who has more than one year of NBA experience. Their only first round pick on the roster is Brown, who is still just 18. And don’t forget the Wizards’ Summer League coach is their new assistant coach Ryan Richman, who just got promoted after spending the last four years as a video coordinator and player development coordinator. It shouldn’t come as a surprise they struggled against the Cavaliers, who have several experienced players on their roster like Cedi Osman, Ante Zizic, and Okaro White.
- Thomas Bryant had a very quiet game (7 points and 4 rebound in 27 minutes), and frankly, that’s to be expected at Summer League for a player like him. Pick-and-pop bigs need structured offenses to get open and flourish, and you’re not going to find a lot of that in Las Vegas. He’s the player you should be the least worried about based on their performance in Summer League. It’s just not the best place to measure what he does well.
- The Wizards’ second round pick, Issuf Sanon, did not play at all. If you need some proof he’s going to be a long, long, long-term prospect, now you have it. The good news is he doesn’t turn 19 until October, so there’s plenty of time for him to grow before he hits his prime.