The Thunder dropped to 0-2 in Orlando with an 84-73 loss to the 76ers on Sunday. This (summer league) team’s championship window appears to be closing. The panic button, you can push it. Some thoughts:
- Both Jeremy Lamb and Mitch McGary sat this one because of rest.
- Perry Jones didn’t have a strong statistical game — nine points on 3-11 shooting including 2-8 from 3 — but I continue to like the apparent growth he’s had. He just looks… assertive. His handle looks improved to me and he’s using it. He’s attacking off the catch and driving hard at defenders. He’s not a “knockdown shooter” as Isiah Thomas called him, but he can make an open look.
- Steven Adams looks so much bigger and stronger than everybody he’s playing against right now that it’s like me walking out and posting up some eight-year-olds on the playground. He was pretty good again today with 12 points on 4-5 shooting plus four rebounds. Bad thing: He had seven fouls in 29 minutes.
- Andre Roberson is clearly trying to work on improving his offensive game, attacking the basket a lot more and looking to be aggressive with the ball. Here’s where I think Roberson could be a solid offensive player: in transition and with hard cuts. His activity is incredible (10 rebounds, five offensive) and he obviously is a menace defensively on the wing.
- And he made a 3!
- And that dunk in the third quarter was pretty salty.
- What the Thunder don’t have in this summer league is someone to create any offense for them. Nolan Smith is a below average player and Semaj Christon looks out of control most of the time. It’s kind of a shame because it would be nice to see how guys like Roberson, Jones, Lamb and Huestis would play with someone that was running solid offense and producing decent shots.
- Josh Huestis actually has a nice looking release. Roberson, you can see why he can’t shoot. His mechanics honestly probably need to be completely broken down and rebuilt. But Huestis has a good motion and a decent follow-through. I think there’s something to build on there.
- Really, there might not be THAT much shame in losing to that 76ers team, because that might be their actual NBA team next season.
- I know some really wanted K.J. McDaniels at No. 29, but here’s the thing about him: He looks like he has some offensive ability, but what would he add to the roster that Jeremy Lamb already doesn’t? McDaniels can shoot a little, but he obviously has raw defensive ability and needs to grow and fill out. Like I said post draft, show me a player that would’ve walked onto this Thunder roster and been better than Lamb right away, to the point where he could’ve made an impact.
- ‘Twas a shame that Nerlens Noel sat this one out. Would’ve been fun to watch him and Adams go at it a little.
- You know what was a stupid conversation? Well, basically anything Isiah Thomas said, but one thing especially where he griped about Lamb and McGary sitting because of rest.
- What the hell was that before halftime?
- I very much enjoyed Adams mixing it up some with everybody, AT SUMMER LEAGUE.
- Sam Presti almost died in the first half when Aaron Craft went diving over the scorers table. It was touch and go for a second.
- Give Craft a little stubble and he’s Karim Benzema, right?
Next up: Against the Nets at 6:00 p.m. on Monday