Watching the NBA Orlando Summer League game between Memphis and OKC, you notice two things about Jordan Adams: he's short and slow for a two guard. Then you look at the box score, and you see that he manufactured some impressive stats - just like he did at UCLA.
The height would be shocking to you, 6'3 ½', if you hadn't read about the Combine here. Last year, Shabazz Muhammad measured out at 6'4 ½". These were our wings? Makes you wonder. With all the hype about size, we had small lineups, especially with Kyle having the ball in his hands, the Wears hanging around the perimeter, and Tony Parker not boxing out. On the other hand, almost every college team is shorter than advertised.
Nevertheless, it's a bit shocking when you actually see it. Of ten players standing on the court, Jordan is, at best, the third smallest. And remember, this is the summer league: not the NBA, not even the D league and only half the summer league at that - the Las Vegas version starts next weekend.
And still, Adams plays 30 minutes, scores 22 points, grabs three rebounds, and has four steals as the Grizzles blow out the Thunder, 84-63. Here's the box score.
He seems like he's playing his UCLA game, going 8-8 from the free throw line, cheating to steal, leaking at the perimeter, and when all is said and done, his box score is fantastic. But there was progress. He went 4-6 from beyond the arc, and he played lock down D (with the exception of a little cheating) on Mario Little, a D League player from Kansas who went undrafted. Again, it's not the NBA, but the Grizzlies Summer League team would probably whip UCLA and Arizona in a pick-up game. By the way, Scotty Wilbekin, from Florida, is one of the point guards on the Grizzlies Summer League team. He played thirteen minutes and did nothing. Donovan, Donovan, Donovan...
Isaiah Thomas (the ex-Piston and Knick President) did the color for the broadcast - oh how the might have fallen. Thomas criticized Adams' game: the steals do not mean good defense, and he's a spot up shooter who can't put the ball on the floor. I'll give him the former, but can't put the ball on the floor? He hit eight free throws - all on penetration. The producers should read BN. Funny thing is, they interviewed Adams after the game. No criticism face to face. Thomas says he has a nice stroke, but how do you prepare to set up the shot now that you are in the NBA? Stupid question and Adams deflected - as we're used to. Thomas did use a term I never heard before - shot pocket. I take it to mean where the shooter likes to catch the ball in order to get set up his stroke as quick and cleanly as possible. Thanks for your contribution to the Summer League, Isaiah.
Sorry for the skeptical tone. Actually, I think its good progress. Good start, Jordan. He went on to score 20 points in his second game.
In other news:
- ICYMI, Darren Collison signed a three-year, $16 million contract with the Sacramento Kings. Collison opted out of his final year with the Los Angeles Clippers where he was scheduled to make just under $2 million.
- In an ironic twist, Collison's ex-UCLA teammate, Jordan Farmar, signed a two-year, $4.2 million contract to replace Collison as backup point guard to Clipper starter Chris Paul. Collison was Farmar's point guard understudy as a freshman.
- 2015 five-star small forward Jalen Brown from Georgia will be visiting UCLA later this month. Brown impressed at the U18 world games where the U.S. earned the gold medal.
- The Los Angeles Clippers made former Bruin standout Natalie Nakase an assistant coach and video coordinator for their summer league team. Here's her UCLA bio. Will she be the first woman assistant in the NBA?