What a day. But even still, you’ve got to make time for summer league. Got to. It’s can’t miss stuff, right? The Thunder defeated the 76ers 89-80 today. Some notes and observations:
- Another poor shooting day from James Harden. Just 3-10 from the floor, but again, he managed 21 points because he went 15-18 from the line. He had five rebounds too! But six turnovers. Harden hasn’t been bad by any means this summer, but he hasn’t blown anyone away either. Keep in mind though, Harden is doing what he’s supposed to – staying aggressive, getting to the line and creating opportunities. Forgive him a little. It’s July and he hasn’t played competitive basketball in three months.
- Kyle Weaver was in street clothes today (no reason as to why yet), so Robert Vaden got the start. And Darth Vaden didn’t exactly capitalize. In 28 minutes Vaden scored two points on 1-5 shooting. Eek.
- Again, Byron Mullens played well. Repeat after me: It’s summer league. It’s summer league. It’s summer league. But it’s hard not to be encouraged. One play that really highlighted how far Mullens has already come: A bad lob from Maynor made Mullens re-adjust in the air to catch the pass. Mullens snagged it, settled himself and turned to hit a nice baby hook. We NEVER would have seen that last year. Like, NEVER.
- We saw Ryan Reid for the first time. And he didn’t look bad at all. If anything, he’s a workhorse that will absolutely push other players in practice. Most wrote him off on draft night, but with the Thunder so devoted to development, Reid might be the kind of guy worth having in your system.
- Latavious Williams showed a little of what he’s capable of today. He had a monstrous poster early on and turned in a pretty solid performance in just 13 minutes. He put up 10 points and five boards, plus looked really athletic and versatile. He’s clearly a project, but in two or three years, we may be talking about a major steal. The guy has talent. He’s just one of those that has to figure out how to put it together.
- Evan Turner with another tough outing. Just four points on 1-6 shooting in 27 minutes.
- Jrue Holiday is a pretty good player. Some wrote him off after a bad summer and lackluster rookie season, but 25 points today and he didn’t them with some style. He did turn it over six times though.
- Eric Maynor hurt his thumb late in the game but appeared to be OK. It’s a minor sprain but I doubt he’ll play anymore this week. He had another nice game otherwise scoring 10 and dishing out five assists to two turnovers. I’m in love with that little floater in the lane. Every time he lets it go, I’m convinced it’s going in.