Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Orlando Summer League Update

Day 1- July 6, 2009

Game 1: Indiana 75, Philadelphia/New Jersey 67

Indiana got solid production from their core young players: Brandon Rush, Roy Hibbert, and Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough led the team with 17 points off the bench in only 25 minutes. He also added 5 rebounds, 3 steals and a block. Rush shot poorly (4-of-18), but ended up with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Hibbert chipped in with 12 points and 9 rebounds.

One would expect some tension on a split squad like the Nets and 76ers put together, but the team definitely provided a steady challenge in their first contest together, taking Indiana into overtime. Marreese Speights led the way with 28 points and 11 rebounds on 11-of (gasp) 26 shooting, and Chris Douglas-Roberts added another 20. The two first round rookies on this squad struggled offensively, which was no real surprise, but they did manage to fill out the stat sheet in other capacities. Terrence Williams shot just 1-of-8 and managed only 2 points, but also tallied 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks in 35 minutes, while Jrue Holiday put up 9 points on 3-of-11 shooting, but also managed 4 steals and 2 blocked shots in 38 minutes of action.

Game 2: Oklahoma City 88, Orlando 77

Russell Westbrook’s inclusion on OKC’s Summer League roster was somewhat of a surprise given his level of success as a rookie last season, but his performance against Orlando showed he still has a lot of growing to do. Westbrook had a very solid line, tallying 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists. However, Westbrook shot just 3-for-11 from the floor, although he did manage to get to the line 18 times (converting 16). Rookies James Harden and BJ Mullens played respectably as well, chipping in 17 and 11 points respectively. DJ White and Serge Ibaka also added 13 apiece in a very solid first outing for the Thunder.

Orlando was thoroughly outplayed by Oklahoma City’s squad on this day, but there were a couple of bright spots. Recently acquired Ryan Anderson, a second year combo forward out of California, scored 21 points on 6-of-14 shooting, and added 2 threes, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Orlando also received 18 points and 11 rebounds from the D-League’s 2008 All-Star game MVP, Jeremy Richardson, who is definitely one player to keep an eye on this summer.

Game 3: Boston 87, Utah 56

In the most lopsided game of the day, Boston saw five players reach double figures: Bill Walker (14), Nick Fazekas (13), Lester Hudson (11), Gabe Pruitt (11), and J.R. Giddens (10). The Celtics’ squad didn’t have any jaw-dropping performances, but they played a solid team game and forced Utah’s squad to shoot a measly 35.6% from the floor.

There wasn’t much positive to report from the opener for Utah. A blowout 20-point loss and a terrible shooting day leave a lot of room for improvement. Only one member of the team cracked double figures - Josh Duncan from Xavier, with 12. Duncan’s Xavier teammate Derrick Brown, and first-round pick Eric Maynor each added 9 in a losing effort.

Upcoming Games on July 7:
Boston @ Orlando 3:00 ET
Utah @ Phil/NJ 5:00 ET
OKC @ Indiana 7:00 ET

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