In general NBA Summer league is a lot like the NFL draft and NFL combine, completely overvalued and overanalyzed but it is all we have right now.
Enes Kanter and Alec Burks are our focus and neither of them had a strong game 1, in fact both were disappointing. Kanter did some things well, but was not able to assert himself on the game. In the first two offensive possessions he got the ball in the post and drew a foul on one and got blocked on the next. He had two nice passes out of the post for three pointers, one by Stockton and one by Ahearn. However, as the game progress he slipped further and further away from how you need him to play. He seemed a step slow on recognition of plays as well as reacting to the ball.
Kanter is never going to be able win with his verticality (new word) and he must learn how to adjust his game to play below the rim and without going above people. Same thing defensively if he is not going to be able to go above the rim and effect plays.
The most discouraging play in the game for me with Kanter was he blew a basic defensive rotation that lead to a dunk. Those are things he should have learned from at this point.
Kanter ran a few pick and rolls with Burks but is not making himself available for the pass as he rolls to the basket. Lastly, Kanter is not going to do things quickly or with explosion so he has to develop what is going to work and what he has to abandon. He is just 20 years old.
Burks game may have been summed up by his first shot. A poor fade away under duress shot from the right wing. No reason to take that shot other than my turn. Burks never got his shot going today.
Burks came to the NBA draft with a reputation for being too cool for school. If you watch him from that paradigm (which may not be fair) then you are waiting for him to realize this is going to be tough. Today he looked as though he thought he would dominate by showing up.
Interesting to watch Kevin Murphy after watching his college games the last few days. He is going through what every rookie experiences, playing the game like he is used to and adjusting to the new style of play of his new NBA team.
I was wondering watching Murphy in college if he could find his shooting window in the NBA. If the pull up jumper on the right baseline over 6’11 Austin Daye is any indicator the answer is yes.
I really like the Jazz are trying to run sets and play the game the correct way. The other side of that equation is it is hard to make players who don’t know a system run it well in three days.
The entire summer league will about Alec, Enes and Kevin Murphy. Things need to get a good deal better than they were today for this summer league to be a success.