- James Harden looked much, much better today. He was finishing at the rim and playing much more aggressively. His jumper has been a little off, but again, that’s not really the concern. Harden is a scorer/slasher first and foremost, so him finishing at the tin is the main goal for this summer. We know he can hit a 3, even though he went 1-5 today from deep. It’s about taking contact and scoring for him. The five turnovers are a bit alarming though.
- The offense did not run without Eric Maynor on the floor. In summer league, a point guard is the most important person on the roster. And Maynor is a pretty good one. The Thunder tried Kyle Weaver, Mustafa Shakur and even Harden a little there. Nothing really worked without Maynor. Maynor’s line: 18 points on 5 of 9 shooting, five assists, four rebounds and three turnovers.
- Byron Mullens looked good a second consecutive day. I realize he went 2-10 from the floor but David Thorpe put it well: “Sometimes you have to see beyond the missed shots and recognize that he earned good shots with good effort.” The fact Mullens took 10 shots is actually encouraging. He struggled with aggressiveness last summer and in the D-League last year. He really committed himself to being a factor and despite the poor shooting, he still netted 12 points (8-12 from the line). However, my biggest qualm with Mullens has always been that there’s no way a 7’1 guy should be getting only three rebounds in 28 minutes, including ZERO defensive rebounds. That’s an issue.
- After pretty much writing him off yesterday, Kyle Weaver responded with a nice game today. He went 2-5 from 3 and scored 14 points. And yet, it still didn’t really feel like he was THAT involved.
- With Serge Ibaka out, Latavious Williams saw more minutes today. And you wouldn’t really know it. The youngster played 13 minutes and scored two points, grabbed a rebound and racked up six fouls. Impressive.
- D.J. White can play. Offense, that is. He scored 14 on 5-10 shooting, but his defense continues to look suspect. One play comes to mind. Early fourth quarter, White flashes out top on Jeremy Pargo on a switch. The ball goes into the post and White chases it like a madman. One pass back to Pargo and he’s wide open for a 15-foot jumper. White plays hard, but he’s just not sound defensively.
- More on Mullens: I said his hands were better yesterday. They were. Yesterday. He fumbled a number of passes today. He did however run the floor well. His finish off an Eric Maynor pass on a fast break was wonderful. To see a seven-footer run the floor like that was great. However, Mullens continues to get caught watching on the defensive end. It’s not a lack of effort, but I think he sort of forgets where he’s supposed to be.
- OKC is shooting a ridiculous number of free throws. Yesterday, 43. Today 40. Good thing too, because the Thunder’s not shooting great from the field.
- Props to Mark Fein today. It was just a summer league game, but he announced the thing like it was at least a regular season game. And it didn’t feel forced at all. I’m still bummed there’s no Dante and Galante, but Fein did good work today.
OKC plays at 2 PM CDT against Philly tomorrow.