If there is a thing called separation day in summer league this was it. Watching this game it was abundantly clear who has any chance to play in the NBA and who doesn’t. Some players have shown a glimpse or two but over time it becomes obvious they aren’t NBA players. At the same time those that have that special skill, Burks 1st step, Kanter’s size, or Evans jumping are as clear as a sunny Salt Lake day.
Kanter, Burks and Evans were dramatically better than anyone on the floor. They should be. They should be killing these guys, the Jazz need these guys to contribute next season meaningful minutes and if they don’t annihilate the players the Magic had on the floor it is a problem.
Burks has an ability to score that is almost unfair in the summer league. His shot was not great today and he did have a positive impact on the game. Burks was the best player on the floor for the 2nd straight game.
Kanter didn’t change but we are seeing him learn what he can and can’t do. He is going to have a lot of shots block until he starts to get counter moves to his initial move. Yet, we saw him vary things up. He destroyed 2nd round draft pick Kyle O’Quinn. He got position on him early and scored once, got fouled another time and missed the other shot on a hook to the middle. What I liked was that he tried a hook to the middle. He is trying to learn.
Evans leaping ability was magnificent in this game. He made play after play. However, defending the post on Nicholson the Magic 1st round draft pick he got put on roller skates twice in a row and just couldn’t hold ground defensively at 190 pounds. The question, and Jeremy and I had a heated debate about this in Memphis last year, can the plays Jeremy makes with his crazy athleticism outweigh the times that he gets overpowered. It is hard for coaches to put on obvious weakness on the floor for the opposing coach to take advantage of. Evans has yet to show a dribble game or an outside shooting game that would allow him to use the quickness as a 4 or as a small forward. These are the steps he must take to be able to effective when it counts.
I really like what I am seeing out of Kevin Murphy. He can shoot and he can score. As I mentioned yesterday he is floating in between how he played at Tenn Tech where he was the entire team and playing inside a system. I like him more as a system player. He has come off curls nicely. He is making the catch and shoot 16 footer as well as the 3 pointer. He is not a great athlete, if he were he wouldn’t have been there at 47. He is playing a lot of minutes with some guys who are never going to make an NBA team or an NBA training camp for that matter and that makes it harder to have a good game.
Jazz started Kyle Weaver, Alec Burks, Kevin Murphy, Knox and Kanter.
And oh yea the Jazz won