LAS VEGAS – Here’s a fast rundown of Thursday’s top performances within the NBA2K23 Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion:
Tyson Etienne, Atlanta Hawks
It didn’t matter that Etienne met multiple defenders within the paint. It also didn’t matter that he fell to the court after attempting the layup.
Etienne still made the go-ahead shot with 14 seconds remaining within the Hawks’ 87-86 win over the San Antonio Spurs. He then forced a turnover on the following possession to disclaim the Spurs a probability to retake the lead.
Not a nasty finish for Etienne, who finished with 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting and two steals. Not a nasty audition, either. After going undrafted, Etienne signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Atlanta that essentially ensures his spot on the team’s Summer League and training camp roster. If the Hawks waive him, Etienne could earn as much as $50,000 if he stays with their G League team for 60 days.
As shown along with his late-game layup and deflection, Etienne hopes to bank on becoming a steal.
JD Davison, Boston Celtics
Just as Summer League play began, the Celtics announced that they signed Davison to a two-way contract. But can the Celtics’ No. 53 pick secure a full-time roster spot?
Davison says the Celtics have told him so, and he further stated his case on Thursday. In Boston’s 108-91 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Davison posted a team-leading 28 points while shooting efficiently from the sphere (9-for-14), from 3-point range (4-for-6) and from the foul line (6-for-6). He added 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals.
The Celtics have change into impressed with Davison’s competitiveness, explosiveness and physicality. He showed all those traits against Memphis. On one play, Davison drove coast to coast before escaping a couple of defenders and converting a finger roll. On one other, he split a pair of defenders, drew a 3rd and arrange Juhann Begarin for a simple bucket. Davison later made a fast crossover to shake off his defender before driving to the basket.
Miles McBride, Recent York Knicks
Who knows what his role will change into considering Jalen Brunson’s arrival. But with Alec Burks and Kemba Walker off the roster, McBride still could earn some significant minutes in his second season.
It’s a stretch to take anything significant from the Knicks’ 102-89 win over the Orlando Magic, where McBride showed a mixture of excellent (23 points on 9-for-13 shooting, five assists) and bad (six turnovers). McBride told reporters he doesn’t care about his Summer League numbers. But after appearing in just 40 games as Recent York’s third-string point guard last season, the Knicks’ No. 36 pick a yr ago appears intent on climbing up the depth chart.
McBride has refined his outside shot. And up until Monday’s game, he’d kept his turnovers low. But more importantly, McBride played with a competitive edge the Knicks will need this season to take a number of the burden off their prized recent point guard.
Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls
Terry stuffed the box rating. The Bulls’ young prospect also stuffed his opponents.
It may appear impressive enough that the Bulls’ 89-73 win over the Charlotte Hornets featured Terry posting 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting, five rebounds, two steals and a block. However the box rating alone doesn’t fully capture how Terry lifted Chicago to a win in his fourth Summer League outing.
Consider a couple of snapshots. Terry driving right to the basket following a timeout. Blocking Hornets guard Bryce McGowens on the rim, sprinting down court and converting a layup off an outlet pass. Forcing a backcourt violation by trapping Hornets guard LJ Figueroa. Through all of it, Terry pressured ballhandlers, caused deflections and even disrupted an alley-oop lob.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 14, 2022
Needed disclaimer: Summer League play often means little for what’s ahead. On this case, though, Terry showed the Bulls can not less than count on him to hustle in any setting.
Lindell Wigginton, Milwaukee Bucks
Whether he participated in a practice, mop-up duty or significant moments, Wigginton has given the Bucks consistent energy.
No surprise then that the Bucks re-signed Wigginton this offseason after he spent last season with them on a two-way contract. No surprise then that Wigginton had 25 points on 8-for-14 shooting, 4 assists and three steals within the Bucks’ 100-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks
As shown along with his 4 turnovers against Dallas, Wigginton must refine his decision-making and play at a more controlled pace. Still, the Bucks have seen how Wigginton’s tenacity may also help their defense and overall energy level at any time when he plays.
Keon Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers
Johnson’s shooting within the Blazers’ 85-77 win over the Houston Rockets almost definitely won’t have any big-picture implications. Once more, we’re talking about Summer League.
Nonetheless, Johnson offered a blueprint on how he might improve from his rookie season. He finished with 25 points while shooting efficiently from the sphere (8-for-13), from 3-point range (4-for-8) and from the free-throw line (5-for-6). It wasn’t pretty that Johnson committed six turnovers, but not less than his play looked more appealing than what he showed last season.
After choosing Johnson with the twenty first pick, the Clippers included him as a part of their deadline deal to land Norman Powell. Amid limited playing time with the Clippers, Johnson shot poorly from the sphere (33.3%) and from deep (27.3%). Even with Portland granting him more minutes (25.5), Johnson didn’t improve substantially overall (35.7%) or from the perimeter (34.8%).
That can have to alter in additional meaningful games. But for now, Thursday was a positive.
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