EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Game 2 Summer League

Thoughts on game 2
Things were much better in game 2 for the Jazz. This is a super strange environment to play basketball. The gym is quiet as a church. The biggest names in the game are all watching and the place has no energy. It takes some getting used to.

Alec Burks was the star today. He was the best player on the floor by a mile. The big thing is his shot was falling and that opened everything up for him on the offensive end. My first tweet about Burks was about how much harder he was playing defense and that was representative of the game he was far more aggressive. The kid can score. The kid can get to the rim. The key for Burks is to be a positive influence on a game when his shot is not falling.

Enes Kanter was better as well. He is showing some real growth in the post. He is patient. He is reading the game as it develops. He is passing which he never did a year ago. He doesn’t have a secondary move in the post other than the power into the lane and up and under. That will come. He showed his outside shot today hitting two of three jumpers from over 12 feet. Once he is comfortable that will be part of his game.

Not sure if this is a good analogy on what we are seeing with these players but I am going to try. I played golf today and had a shot over a bunker to the green that called for a flop shot. I have been practicing the flop a ton this year on the practice green and most of the time I am making the shot but when in the middle of a round it called for the shot I instead went to what I knew I could and conceded the bogey. These players are doing something similar, they practice new moves all the time but to actually put them into effect is a totally different game.

I really liked what I saw out of Kevin Murphy. He hit two catch and shoot jumpers. He is showing the ability to get his shot off. He is a willing passer. More importantly, he made plays today inside the system. He came off a down screen waited for the pick to come to him after he got the ball and then moved the ball. Next possession he came off the down screen and had space and hit the jumper. Finally, he showed a tight curl to get an easy look in the lane. These last two plays are not things he did in college.

Make sure you watch who Murphy is playing with when he is on the floor. Some of those guys are really struggling to play ball.

BTS is reporting that DeMarre Carroll is done for the summer league. He was underwhelming in my book. He broke plays offensively and defensively he didn’t do what I would have hoped to see. Hope this is anything significant but he would be in my most disappointing category right now. This may not be the setting for Carroll to thrive. He may need to be surrounded by better players and then play the hustle game.

People have asked about Michael Stockton. He is playing really well. He is not an NBA player. He is signed in Germany for next season and wouldn’t be available to go to camp even if he were. He has played super ball in the summer league.