Orlando Pro Summer League, Day Three: James The Day's Top Player

A preview of Day Three action, with recaps after each game and a nightly overview with analysis, superlatives and more from Evan Dunlap of SB Nation's Magic blog, Orlando Pinstriped Post, who's reporting live from the games.

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Orlando Pro Summer League, Day Three: Three Superlatives

Day Three of the Orlando Pro Summer League is in the books. Let’s take a look back at some of today’s superlatives.

Best Individual Performance: Damion James, New Jersey Nets. There’s more to basketball than scoring, obviously, but I can’t overlook the guy who posted the highest individual point total of the week so far in a win against the Orlando Magic today. James scored 30 points on nine-of-18 shooting in 34 minutes. His peripheral stats—three rebounds, two assists, and a steal—don’t jump off the page, but this one does. Despite all the possessions he used, he didn’t turn the ball over once. The first-round draft choice is looking like a keeper.

Honorable mentions: Joe Crawford, Magic; Matt Janning, Boston Celtics; Josh McRoberts, Indiana Pacers.

Breakout Performance: Matt Janning, Boston Celtics. Consider that Janning, an undrafted combo guard from Northwestern, didn’t play at all yesterday, and made only a 10-minute cameo in Game One. Now consider that he scored 20 points in 25 minutes today. More impressively, he posted a game-high eight rebounds. They weren’t cheapies, either; he was battling with the big guys inside for most of them.

Honorable mentions: Paul George, Pacers; Latavious Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder.

Most Disappointing Performance: Evan Turner, 76ers. It’s tough to list a guard who managed eight rebounds in this slot, but there aren’t many reasonable alternatives. Turner’s eight boards impress, but that’s it. His lone bucket in six tries today was an uncontested fastbreak layup. He badly airballed an open three-pointer, committed six fouls, turned the ball over three times, and didn’t make an impact on defense. The 76ers like his versatility and triple-double potential, yet he already looks like a poor fit alongside the ball-dominant point guard Jrue Holiday.

Honorable mentions: Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz; Daniel Orton, Magic.

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Orlando Pro Summer League, Day Three: Three Superlatives

Day Three of the Orlando Pro Summer League is in the books. Let’s take a look back at some of today’s superlatives.

Best Individual Performance: Damion James, New Jersey Nets. There’s more to basketball than scoring, obviously, but I can’t overlook the guy who posted the highest individual point total of the week so far in a win against the Orlando Magic today. James scored 30 points on nine-of-18 shooting in 34 minutes. His peripheral stats—three rebounds, two assists, and a steal—don’t jump off the page, but this one does. Despite all the possessions he used, he didn’t turn the ball over once. The first-round draft choice is looking like a keeper.

Honorable mentions: Joe Crawford, Magic; Matt Janning, Boston Celtics; Josh McRoberts, Indiana Pacers.

Breakout Performance: Matt Janning, Boston Celtics. Consider that Janning, an undrafted combo guard from Northwestern, didn’t play at all yesterday, and made only a 10-minute cameo in Game One. Now consider that he scored 20 points in 25 minutes today. More impressively, he posted a game-high eight rebounds. They weren’t cheapies, either; he was battling with the big guys inside for most of them.

Honorable mentions: Paul George, Pacers; Latavious Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder.

Most Disappointing Performance: Evan Turner, 76ers. It’s tough to list a guard who managed eight rebounds in this slot, but there aren’t many reasonable alternatives. Turner’s eight boards impress, but that’s it. His lone bucket in six tries today was an uncontested fastbreak layup. He badly airballed an open three-pointer, committed six fouls, turned the ball over three times, and didn’t make an impact on defense. The 76ers like his versatility and triple-double potential, yet he already looks like a poor fit alongside the ball-dominant point guard Jrue Holiday.

Honorable mentions: Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz; Daniel Orton, Magic.

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Pacers Overwhelm Jazz, 83-74, With McRoberts, Stephenson, And George

Josh McRoberts led four Indiana Pacers in double-figure scoring with 21 points on an eye-popping 100.9% True Shooting, helping Indy down the Utah Jazz, 83-74. McRoberts added three rebounds and four assists, again demonstrating excellent court awareness for a center. Second-round draft pick Lance Stephenson continued to have his way, scoring 19 points on seven-of-10 shooting. The most encouraging sign, for Indiana? Lottery selection Paul George had his first good game this week, tallying 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds; he shot only seven-of-22 in the first two games. The Pacers improved to 2-1 despite letting Utah go on a 27-9 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters, trimming what had been a 24-point deficit to merely six.

Second-year center Kosta Koufos was the only Jazz player to impress, yet they still gave Indiana a bit of a scare after that run. Koufos scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, shooting an impressive seven-of-10 from the floor. Through the first two days, Koufos had gotten more of his buckets as a jump-shooter or putback artist, but tonight he got more chances with his back to the basket. He capitalized on them. But Othyus Jeffers, Sundiata Gaines, Gordon Hayward, and the rest of the Jazz didn’t do enough to help him on the perimeter. That trio combined to shoot five-of-17 from the floor for 26 points.

The Pacers’ Magnum Rolle—yes, that’s his real name—also provided a glimpse of his potential. Though he struggled with his footwork inside, his length and athleticism made him an attractive lob target. He scored 10 points and blocked four shots, but he clearly needs work, committing eight fouls and five turnovers as well.

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Nets' James Bests Magic's Crawford In 94-91 Shootout

The New Jersey Nets’ Damion James outdueled the Orlando Magic’s Joe Crawford in an exciting, high-scoring contest Wednesday evening, scoring 30 points to Crawford’s 29 in the Nets’ 94-90 win. James scored 21 points on 20 shots yesterday, with his jumper eluding him. Well, he found it today, and mixed his perimeter and driving attacks well in the highest individual scoring output so far this week. Crawford, the first Magic perimeter player to truly catch fire at all this week, scored more efficiently than James did, shooting 10-of-13 from the field. But he made two key errors down the stretch. First, he missed a free throw that would have tied the game at 92. On the Magic’s final halfcourt possession, he passed up a wide-open three-point attempt from the left corner, faked, and stepped on the sideline out of bounds as he tried to drive, turning the ball over.

Patrick Ewing had a chance to send the game to overtime with a three-pointer in the waning seconds, but could not get a shot off in time as Williams trapped him in the back court, forcing him to change directions.

Nets point guard Terrence Williams added 22 points (albeit on eight-of-26 shooting), four rebounds, and six assists in James’ aid. Third overall draft pick Derrick Favors had another mediocre game. A drop-step move that he finished with his left hand raised some eyebrows, but he committed seven fouls and didn’t impact the game.

Orlando’s Paul Davis once again outshone 29th overall draft selection Daniel Orton at center. Davis scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 18 bench minutes, and was active diving to the basket. Credit point guard Curtis Stinson, making his first start, for finding Davis and the Magic’s other bigs in what was a decidedly more pick-and-roll-oriented offensive attack than in previous days. Stinson led all players with seven assists to just two turnovers.

Orton played 17 ineffective minutes. He did not attempt a field goal or grab a rebound. He finished with four points, an assist, a steal, a block, four fouls, and three turnovers.

The Magic shot a staggering 52% from the field and 46.7% from three-point range. But their 15 turnovers cost them dearly, as New Jersey only committed six. As a result, the Nets had 20 more shot attempts. That advantage was enough to leave Orlando as the only winless team remaining, but barely.

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Thunder Hold Off Sixers, 89-80, Behind Harden And Mullens As Philly's Turner Struggles Again

James Harden and Byron Mullens led the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Philadelphia 76ers, 89-80, as the Orlando Pro Summer League continued on Wednesday afternoon. Harden shot just three-of-10 from the field and missed all four of his three-point tries, but once again made his hay from the foul line; he connected on 15 of his 18 freebies to finish with 21 points. Mullens scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help OKC hold of Philly’s late rally. 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday scored 25 to lead all players, but turned the ball over six times and struggled to get his team into its offense. Philadelphia shot just 37.7% from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

Of greater concern for Philadelphia is Evan Turner. The second overall draft pick is still struggling to figure the NBA out on his third day of summer league. Three more turnovers for him today, and his lone field goal in six tries was a breakaway layup. His body language shows that he’s clearly frustrated and lacking confidence. In his defense, he made a pretty bounce pass to Marreese Speights’ pocket on a fast break, resulting in a spectacular jam that elicited a raucous scream from the third-year big man.

Thunder point guard Eric Maynor, who had another solid outing, left the game in the fourth quarter with a jammed right thumb. The injury does not appear to be serious or threatening in any way.

Latavious Williams, obtained from the Miami Heat on draft night, added 10 points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots in 15 bench minutes for Oklahoma City. Mustafa Shakur needed 10 shots to score 11 points, but dished six assists off the Thunder’s bench and demonstrated a keen awareness of how to run an offense.

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Celtics' Janning And Sims Break Out, Lead Boston To 92-71 Blowout Of Bobcats

The Boston Celtics started Day Three of Orlando Pro Summer League play with a quick dunk by Tony Gaffney after the opening tip and didn't look back, blowing out the Charlotte Bobcats by a 92-71 final. Point guard Matt Janning, who did not play at all yesterday, made the most of his 25 minutes today. He led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting, with a combination of outside jumpers and aggressive inside finishes. Combo forward Deshawn Sims was another surprise breakout contributor for the Celtics, with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Less surprising? The play of Luke Harangody, who continued his strong play for Boston, adding 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Boston dominated the glass, holding a 33-23 advantage overall and a commanding 15-2 edge in the first period.

The bright spots for Charlotte are hard to find. Its lax perimeter defense allowed Janning and Jaycee Carroll to get to wherever they wanted on the floor. Gerald Henderson, one of the top players though the first two days, missed 7 of his 9 shots and scored just 7 points. Jeremy Pargo scored 10 points and handed out 8 assists. Derrick Brown led them in scoring with 12 points, but even he seemed less active than normal.

The Celtics have to feel good about this effort. The combination of Carroll and Janning, either of whom can handle the ball or play off it, can keep defenses off balance. Both merit closer looks as play continues.

More and more, Harangody looks like a bargain with the 52nd overall pick in this year's draft. Though he'll struggle to get his shot off against NBA-caliber defenders, he plays intelligently, hard, and unselfishly. He's good enough to be a 12th man on a contending team, and maybe in the rotation of a lesser one. Considering how infrequently second-round draft choices turn out to be competent contributors, that's solid.

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Orlando Pro Summer League, Day Three: What To Watch For

The Las Vegas Summer League may have more teams, games, and even allows fans in the stands, but the Orlando Pro Summer League--which continues today--is every bit as important. Teams looking for a strictly basketball experience for their summer squads seek out the Orlando Magic's no-nonsense league, which they host in their practice facility. This year, the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and Utah Jazz will all attend.

I'm Evan Dunlap, known as Ben Q. Rock at Orlando Pinstriped Post, SB Nation's Magic blog, and I'll be there to cover all 20 games this week for SB Nation.com. Here's what's on tap tonight. The games are available on NBA TV, but you can watch the action streaming on NBA.com for a fee, if that's more convenient. Check back in this StoryStream for updates after every game.

Game 1: Bobcats (2-0) at Celtics (0-2), 1 PM - Relative to expectation, the Bobcats have been the best team here. Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown have carried the offense, with Alexis Ajinca making solid contributions on the glass. Not bad for anyone, especially a team that didn't have any draft picks this year. They face a Celtics team that's underachieving, to no one's surprise, given the dearth of talent on its roster. Luke Harangody can only do so much. Pushing the tempo more would allow Oliver Lafayette and Tony Gaffney to get out in transition, where they excel. Maybe that's something the Celtics will try as they seek their first win this week.

Game 2: Thunder (1-1) at 76ers (2-0), 3 PM - In some ways, what Oklahoma City has here is simply unfair. Each player in the Thunder's starting lineup will make their roster this season, as well as two of their reserves. Far and away, they have the most stacked team, which means they usually play pretty well. But Philadelphia has a better record, and it's not due to second overall draft choice Evan Turner. No, it's second-year point guard Jrue Holiday who's leading the way, and fellow sophomore Jodie Meeks has provided better offense than Turner has so far. Oklahoma City's Eric Maynor has proven this week that he isn't shy in attacking the basket. Good luck getting there against Holiday. This game should be a fun one.

Game 3: Nets (1-1) at Magic (0-2), 5 PM - Orlando hasn't really done anything right this week, and the Nets have arguably the league's top player in Terrence Williams, so this one might get ugly. Magic summer-league coach Patrick Ewing wants center Daniel Orton, just 1-of-14 from the floor in the first two games, to assert himself offensively by demanding the ball. And as poorly as he's played, the Magic have nothing to lose but games, really, but giving him the ball. They need interior offense, because their wing players haven't shown they can shoot from the outside. Third overall draft pick Derrick Favors of New Jersey should roll in this one, provided that his teammates manage to get him the ball.

Game 4: Pacers (1-1) at Jazz (1-1), 7 PM - I can't help but feel like the Pacers' athletes, led by point guard Lance Stephenson and wing Paul George, will decide this game. If Indiana pushes the pace and avoids setting up Josh McRoberts for so many darn three-pointers, Utah has no answer. But if the Jazz manage to control the clock and force Indiana to play a halfcourt game, victory is theirs. Gordon Hayward, Kosta Koufos, and James Augustine have each played exceptionally well in the half-court. They run plays, know where they're supposed to be, and get results.

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