A three from second round pick Tristan Vukcevic helped the Washington Wizards slice the Chicago Bulls lead to just one point with 1:06 left to play, but the Bulls owned the final minute to defeat the Wizards 90-85 in the final summer league game for both teams.
It was a welcome outcome for those us dabbing our brows while muttering, “Please don’t let there be overtime. Please don’t let there be overtime. Please don’t let there be...”
After playing a game the day before, the Wizards sat virtually every player of potential interest for the 2023-24 season, including Bilal Coulibaly, Johnny Davis, Ryan Rollins, and Patrick Baldwin Jr. Xavier Cooks also rested.
Some thoughts and observations:
- If the Wizards’ goals for the game included punishing the rim and backboards, they can hang a “mission accomplished” banner. They connected on just 6-27 from three-point range and launched some classic duck-and-cover misses. Quenton Jackson received a dreaded, “Wide left” from broadcaster Mark Jones on his bricked three.
- In extended minutes, DJ Stewart made a case to be part of the Go-Go next season. He shot 6-10 from the floor and made good decisions in pick-and-roll and handoff sets. He has the athleticism to play in the NBA. The question on him is skills.
- Jules Bernard played well, shooting 5-8 from the floor and 2-3 from deep — some of them of the self-created variety. He finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists, though it easily could have been 6 assists if teammates made open shots.
- Osun Osunniyi was a load inside — 9 points on 5 shots, plus 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
- No one fouls out in summer league, and it showed. The Bulls and Wizards combined for 53 fouls in the 40-minute game. Chicago’s Julian Phillips and Javon Freeman-Liberty each had 6. Adam Sanogo (Bulls) had 5, as did Washington’s Donovan Williams.
- A day after going on a serious heater, Washington’s Dejan Vasiljevic went on an epic cooler — 1-11 from the floor and 0-6 from deep.
- For the Bulls, Dalen Terry looks like he’s progressing towards a spot in the rotation. Yago Do Santos was fun. Freeman-Liberty had a nice game — 24 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks. He probably starts the season with the Bulls G League team.
- Nearly every player who took a dribble should thank the refs for not calling carries.
And so ends the NBA2K24 Summer League. The Wizards finish 2-3 and well out of the tournament portion to decide the summer league championship, which begins tomorrow.
I’ll be back in the next few days with some summer league numbers and analysis.