Hornets Off-Season: Summer League

Published: July 23, 2008

Despite being thoroughly convinced that the NBA Summer League games aren't worth much, I went ahead and watched four of the Hornets games.  Anything to fight the symptoms of basketball withdrawl.

I also wanted to watch the players and see if any of them were going to be candidates for immediate trades – like Kirk Snyder and Cedric Simmons were after they were terrible or unable to go in the Summer League.  Here are my impressions:

  • Julian Wright didn't give a damn for large stretches of the summer league.  Despite that, when he focused, he was almost always the best player on the floor.  You can point at his turnovers, point at his bad shooting percentage, but when he decided he was going to get aggressive, he was disruptive as hell on the defensive end and effective offensively.  I do not worry about him at all.
  • I'm past worrying about Hilton Armstrong.  He had a couple strong scoring games, but overall, he was terrible.  He is STILL prone to stupid fouls.  He still hasn't been able to put on enough muscle – so he gets pushed away from the basket too easily.  His hands are poor, and he gets stripped all the time, and he takes way too long to gather himself to dunk, giving defenders extra time to close on him and knock the ball loose.  He also shows almost no instinct for rebounding – consistently misjudging his position and timing when going up for the boards.  If he has any trade value – I hope we use it.
  • A ton has been made about Bobby Brown, and without question he had a good summer league.  However, I was left with questions about his shooting and stamina.  As each game wore on, his shot became more and more flat – and as his shot lost its arc, he began throwing it at the basket more than shooting it.  His commitment to push the ball was nice to see, and he did have good instincts for distributing the ball.  Is he better than Pargo?  I'd say no – mostly based on his shot and his defense, which was really scattered.
  • I'd like to see Derrick Byars brought in to camp.  He seems to have a nice all-around game with some decent range and slashing skills.  He also showed willingness and skill at the defensive end.
  • Adam Haluska is slow.  His shooting was off, but I was more worried about his speed.  He was constantly victimized by clear-outs where he had to go one on one with fast guards – and failed miserably.  I was hoping for more.

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