Hornets’ summer league team rallies but falls short

Published: July 16, 2012

In a re-hash of the Hornets regular season, their summer league team took on the Milwaukee Bucks tonight and put together four quarters of pretty ugly basketball.  After two double-digit rallies to make it interesting, they fell short in the end.  My observations:

Austin Rivers

Rivers had an eventful game, spending a lot of the first half sprawled out on the floor as the Bucks sent him there repeatedly.  He was again drawing lots of fouls, but he was also missing lots of free throws and actually hit the underside of the rim three times during the game.  He’s going to spend a lot of his first season in the league putting on muscle and learning to finish against quicker, stronger, taller guys.

As a PG he did play much better, and he was clearly looking to get guys more involved.  He found open perimeter shooters on several drives into the paint, and also eliminated the bad 30-foot three point shots from his arsenal.  That was a relief, though I think it is funny that he still spends his time on the perimeter hovering 4 feet behind the three point line like he would in college.  Leaving that much room lets your defender play off of you and help.  He’ll need to learn to stand at the three point line and be ready to let fly when other people create for him.

All in all, it was a tough game for him, but not absolutely terrible.

Xavier Henry

I want Xavier to succeed so badly, but he was terrible tonight.  He was terrible last night.  Half his games last year were pretty terrible too.  Like I said on the podcast (Listen to it, and please take the Survey!) Henry has terrible Basketball IQ and desperately, desperately needs a mid-range game.  His charges murdered momentum over and over – and they weren’t even questionable calls.  He made a decision 25 feet from the basket to drive, and everyone knew it and stepped in front of him.  Easy charge call.

Darius Miller

Solid game from the young man.  Strong defense and took what came to him in the game.  He did give up the huge offensive rebound at the end, but he and Lance Thomas were masquerading as the 4 and 5 out there during that time, and it’s hard to keep guys much, much bigger than you off the glass.  Besides, without his pressure defense, the Hornets would have been out of it long before.

Jason Smith

No, he wasn’t playing – but he was on the bench with the assistant coaches.  I like that.

Lance Thomas

Lance played hard, and I get why people love him.  He’s a professional and does the little things to help the team succeed.  I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to do the big things to help the team succeed at the NBA level, but that’s probably okay for the 4th or 5th big man.

Denzel Bowles

Bowles had an okay game, but he was not the force some predicted he would be after last game.  The guy is slow-footed in the extreme, and if you see him playing help defense – you will be the first.  Because he doesn’t help.  He stares at his guy determinedly.

Good rebounder and okay offensive touch, though.  Just think if he’d get in shape.  He could be an elite 5th big man!



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