Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Too early for judgements in Summer League. Memorable day for Koufos.

Eight games total (two contests for each of the eight teams) into the Orlando Summer League is just enough to remind all that making judgments on a player after one game is never prudent. If all you did was see the games from Monday you may have thought that Oliver Lafayette was a candidate to someday start at Point Guard in the NBA. However - a second game revealed that he could not get anything against Jrue Holiday, a young elite defender. Lafayette was forced into five turnovers and his game EFR was a putrid .045.

Holiday, meanwhile, was our Player of the Day for Monday but 24 hours later his offensive game was horrible. His deep shot was ugly and flat and he had four turnovers on 3-10 FG shooting.

If all you did was watch Monday’s games - you may have thought that Kosta Koufos could NEVER contribute in an NBA game. However if you saw him dominate on Tuesday - your mind would have been changed. Ditto for Jazz second round pick Jeremy Evans (pictured at right, sacrificing his body).

The point is… you have to WATCH the games to really know. And then you need to back up what you think you saw with some data so you don’t get lost in the flair that a player may have.

Paul George looked spectacular at times for the Summer Pacers. He set a Orlando Summer League record for steals in one game with seven! He had some sweet finishes in the open court. But the stat sheet doesn’t lie and George, as good as looked, was only .419 EFR for the game. Why? He was 5-15 FG (0-7 from three) and he had five turnovers. I would be willing to bet most folks never would have thought George was actually just so-so in this game. His flashy athletic game probably had most saying, “Wow! That Paul George was GREAT!”.

Josh McRoberts plays with grit and I appreciate that but a glance at a stat sheet from Tuesday shows that “J-McBob” was not getting it done. He jacked up 18 shots, and made three of them. His game EFR was .090 (about equal to a Milli Vanilli recording). Yikers!

Pacers Head Coach Jim O’Brien showed just how ridiculously old school (and out of touch) he is when he bristled at Rick Kamla referring to Tyler Hansbrough as “Psycho T”. O’Brien said something about not liking nicknames and he came across with the charisma of the late Richard Nixon. This helps me understand a little further why T.J. Ford is not playing up to his known ability. O’Brien clearly does not believe in Ford as he stated publicly on NBA-TV, “We need a point guard and that will solve a lot of problems for us.”

I will repeat again that I strongly believe Ford is worth whatever perceived risk there is. He is said to be available via trade by the Pacers. Ford is in the last year of his contract.

...Notes: Kyle Weaver has clearly improved his outside shooting. That is crucial to his development in OKC because he already is an excellent defender. ...I thought P.J. Tucker outplayed James Harden Tuesday. Tucker is looking for an NBA gig as a bruising post-up Two Guard. He competes on every play and showed that he could keep his man in front of him despite weighing more than the average SG. ...Jeremy Pargo hit a game winner at the buzzer to lift the Summer Bobcats past OKC.

The Player of the Day for day two was Koufos who led his team to a 78-73 win. The former Ohio State Center scored 13 points, grabbed eleven boards and blocked four shots in just 20 minutes.

Our “All Day Two Orlando Summer League Team” (their game efficiency rating). PG - Lance Stephenson - IND .600, SG - Gerald Henderson - CHA (pictured at left) .676, SF - Gordon Hayward - UTA .750, PF - James Augustine - UTA .650, C - Koufos - UTA 1.100. Bench: Guards: Jodie Meeks - PHI .586, Eric Maynor - OKC .529. Forwards: Patrick Ewing Jr. .592, Tony Gaffney - BOS. .583, Luke Harangody - BOS .580. Centers - Paul Davis - ORL .652., Marreese Speights - PHI .586.

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