Orlando Pro Summer League, Day 5: Derrick Favors Is Today's Star

A preview of Day Five 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 Five: Three Superlatives

Day Five of the Orlando Pro Summer League is in the books; heck, the whole league is in the books now. Let’s take a look back at some of today’s superlatives.

Best Individual Performance: Derrick Favors, New Jersey Nets.

From yesterday’s most disappointing to today’s most outstanding, Favors truly went from nothing to something. The third overall pick needed only 28 minutes to tally 23 points and 11 boards today; in the first four games, he had 30 points and 23 rebounds in 109 minutes. Talk about productivity! The athletic big man shows promise, especially if paired with a point guard who can find him under the rim.

Honorable mentions: Paul Davis, Orlando Magic; Mustafa Shakur, Oklahoma City Thunder.

Breakout Performance: Sherron Collins, Charlotte Bobcats.

Collins had the best offensive output of the entire week today, scoring 32 points and draining seven three-point field goals in the Bobcats’ loss to the Magic. His late treys kept Charlotte in the game. Collins’ shooting form is solid, and it should keep him on the fringe of the NBA. He’ll get plenty of chances to break through.

Honorable mentions: Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz; Stanley Robinson, Orlando Magic.

Most Disappointing Performance: James Harden, Thunder.

Harden’s good enough to dominate this league, and he did for long stretches earlier this week. In a token 17 minutes today, he scored 11 points, which is nice. But on 12 shots. He was not at all interested in this game, but the Thunder didn’t really need him, beating the Pacers by a 77-73 final.

Honorable mentions: Alexis Ajinca, Bobcats; Othyus Jeffers, Jazz.


Collins' Three-Point Barrage Not Enough For Bobcats As Magic Grab First Win

The Orlando Magic capped off the Orlando Pro Summer League by picking up their first win, a well-played contest against the Charlotte Bobcats that ended in a 80-77 final. The aggressive Magic made the weary Bobcats pay for their constant fouling, shooting 32-of-45 from the foul line, while Charlotte only mustered 10 attempts. Paul Davis led the Magic with 24 points in 25 minutes off the bench, including 14-of-16 shooting at the line as he and point guard Curtis Stinson continued to run the pick-and-roll effectively. Charlotte point guard Sherron Collins had the best game of the day, however, sinking seven three-pointers on his way to scoring a league-high 32 points in 35 minutes. Stanley Robinson, the athletic small forward whom Orlando selected with the 59th pick in this year’s draft, tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, and threw down an incredible windmill dunk on a third-quarter fast break, which got the crowd of journalists and team officials stirring.

Orlando controlled the interior against Bobcats centers Alxis Ajinca, Pape Sow, and Nathan Jawai. None of them could keep track of Davis on his rolls to the rim, and their aversion to boxing out helped Orlando grab 12 offensive boards in 39 chances. Robinson did his part on that end as well, sneaking along the baseline for loose balls, as four of his 10 boards were offensive.

On the down side, first-round draft choice Daniel Orton, a center from Kentucky, continued to struggle, missing six of his seven shots and scoring only three points. However, his low-post moves looked more polished and patient today, a positive sign.

The Bobcats played without Gerald Henderson, but nearly got the win anyway thanks almost entirely to their backcourt of Collins and Jerel McNeal, who hit three treys of his own. All told, the pair combined for 45 of Charlotte’s 77 points. The rest of the team shot 13-of-51 for 32 points. Ajinca proved especially ineffective, shooting just three-of-10 from the field and committing six fouls in addition to a technical. Jawai also picked up a flagrant-one foul for throwing Davis to the floor as Davis drove to the rim for what would have been an emphatic jam.

Stinson tallied 14 points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and no turnovers in a quietly impressive performance.


Favors' Spectacular Double-Double Drives Nets To Rout Over Celtcs

The New Jersey Nets got double-doubles from Derrick Favors and Connor Atchley, which proved to be enough to soundly defeat the Boston Celtics, 86-68, in their final games of the Orlando Pro Summer League. Favors scored 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and wowed the crowd of journalists and team officials with a variety of athletic slams in traffic in wha was his best performance of the League by far. Atchley, meanwhile, added 10 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Once again, Boston struggled to find any offense outside of rookie forward Luke Harangody, who scored 18 points on seven-of-17 shooting.

Favors’ eruption, not coincidentally, occurred in the same game the Nets essentialy benched Terrence Williams, who handled the point guard chores through the first four days. Williams’ passing skills need improvement, and without anyone to feed him the ball, Favors languished in mediocrity early on. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress explains the situation in this Twitter message:

I don’t blame T-Will, I blame the Nets. Why not put a pure point next to Favors and spoon-feed him all summer league? Build his confidence.

Williams played just five minutes, and even then he was off the ball, not initiating the offense. That task fell to Brandon Heath, who tallied six assists and no turnovers in 32 minutes. He also made three of his five three-pointers.

Favors and Atchley combined for 24 rebounds, just three shy of the Celtics’ total. In helping the Nets control the glass, they minimized Boston’s opportunities to convert on a day they shot only 42.3% from the floor.


Evans And Davidson Help Jazz Coast Past Undermanned 76ers, 85-56

The Utah Jazz blitzed the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers in their last Orlando Pro Summer League game by a final score of 85-58. Utah shot 51.7%, held a 37-24 rebound advantage, and outscored the 76ers, 36-16, in the paint. Philly, which dressed just eight players as others shipped off to Las Vegas to play in its summer league, had no answer for the Jazz’s athletic, wide-open offense. To that point, pogo stick power forwards Jeremy Evans and Jermareo Davidson combined for 28 points and 12 rebounds on 13-of-18 shooting, overwhelming Philadelphia inside. Additionally, Gordon Hayward finished his solid week with 14 points on three-of-five shooting, pushing his week-long field-goal percentage to 62.5%. In keeping with their balanced approach, all 11 of the Jazz’s uniformed men played at least 11 minutes.

Without Jrue Holiday, Marreese Speights, or Trent Plaisted, the 76ers could not have realistically expected to compete with a team of Utah’s caliber, though they shouldn’t have fallen behind by 36 points, as they did at one stage of the game. The brigtest spot, from their standpoint, is that second overall draft choice Evan Turner finally broke through. The Sixers’ go-to man for most of the day, he played 34 of a possible 40 minutes and used an estimated 20 possessions, with encouraging results. He shot only four-of-10 from the field, but his four-of-four foul shooting boosted him to a team-high 13 points, which also ties his best showing from the week. Though he still demonstrates poor body language after each whistle that doesn’t go his way, he played more under control today, and looked more comfortable as a playmaker on the fast break.

Teammate Ndudi Ebi played hard, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. Though not particularly skilled, Ebi’s size, strength, and consistent effort may earn him an invitation to an NBA team’s training camp.

Utah point guard Sundiata Gaines’ play reminds me of that of Jameer Nelson. If you’re familiar with my work at Orlando Pinstriped Post, you know I can only mean that statement as a compliment. Quick, with a deft handle, good instincts in the pick-and-roll, and a solid jump shot, Gaines shows promise as Deron Williams’ backup in Utah.

At this rate, I would be surprised if the Jazz didn’t bring Jeremy Evans aboard. Though Paul Millsap is more than a capable replacement for Carlos Boozer in the starting lineup, they need depth behind him, and Evans would make a good fit in coach Jerry Sloan’s offense because he fills open spaces in the floor and can convert in traffic inside. And the prospect of him filling the lane on a Wiliams-led fast break is pretty exciting, really. Add Hayward spotting up for three to that scenario and you can see the potential the Jazz could have.


Thunder Finish Off Pacers, 77-73, Behind Shakur And Weaver

The Oklahoma City Thunder opened tthe final day of Orlando Pro Summer League action by holding off another of the Indiana Pacers’ athleticism-driven rallies, 77-73, behind 19 points from Mustafa Shakur and 15 from Kyle Weaver. Oklahoma City led throughout, but Pacers rookie Paul Geroge drilled a three-pointer—his first in seven attempts—from the right corner in the final minute drew the Pacers to within three. George had his most productive day yet, with 22 points and 12 rebounds, but his shot selection and ballhandling continue to leave much to be desired. Indiana outscored Oklahoma City, 49-34, more than compensating for its horrid second quarter in which it managed only seven points.

The Pacers, when down, go to a full-court press which frustrates opponents. Even if it doesn’t always result in a turnover, the press delays opponents from getting into their offense comfortably and can lead to poor execution. The hustle the team—which dressed only eight players—displayed should have Pacers fans feeling good about the mentality coach Jim O’Brien and team president Larry Bird are trying to instill.

But the Thunder’s superior talent came through and propelled them to a 4-1 showing this week. Shakur added three rebounds and six assists, and continues to look like a potential gem in the back end of an NBA rotation. And Ryan Reid, whom Jonathan Givony has argued might the most puzzling draft pick of all time, acquitted himself today. A tough, hardworking player with no real position, Reid fulfilled a variety of tasks today, including bringing the ball up against the Pacers’ press. He tallied 10 points on five-of-six shooting to go with eight rebounds.

Indiana finished the week 3-2. George looks to be a tremendous prospect if he can help his shot selection.


Orlando Pro Summer League, Day Five: What To Watch For On League's Final Day

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: Thunder (3-1) at Pacers (3-1), 8 AM - The day starts bright and early with this matchup of two of the three teams to go 3-1 so far this week. The Thunder's stacked roster helped them put the Magic away without their four best players here yesterday, while the Pacers' cast of athletes led them to erase a 27-point deficit to beat the Celtics on Paul George's reverse layup. No matter who takes this game, both teams will leave Orlando feeling pretty good about what they saw here.

Game 2: 76ers (2-2) at Jazz (2-2), 10 AM - Philadelphia's Evan Turner, the second overall pick, gets one last chance to redeem himself in this game. He shot one-of-six yesterday to drop his shooting percentage to 31% on the week, and he's averaged 8.5 points and three turnovers. Just not getting it done. On the flip side, fellow lottery pick Gordon Hayward has made the most of his curiously limited touches, shooting 62.5% from the floor for 10 points per game. Second-year center Kosta Koufos hasn't blown anyone away this week, but he has put together some effective games, averaging 12.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocked shots.

Game 3: Nets (2-2) at Celtics (1-3), 12 PM - Relative to draft position, no one here has outplayed Luke Harangody. The 52nd overall pick in this year's draft drew comparisons to incumbent Celtics power forward Brian Scalabrine, whom fans celebrate ironically, but unlike Scal, Harangody looks to have legitimate NBA skill. In addition to shooting 49% from the floor, Harangody has pulled in 6.5 boards per game. Remarkably, he has just four turnovers in 105 minutes, which attests to his handling skill and vision. For a player to handle that much and not cough the ball up more is surprising and impressive. Contrast his approach with that of New Jersey's Terrence Williams, who's the most talented player on the court at any given time but can't seem to reign himself in. He's averaging 5.5 turnovers per game and must stop leaving his feet to pass if he ever hopes to shift to point guard at this level. It seems doubtful that he'll play today. Maybe Derrick Favors, the third overall pick, will finally get some chances to show what he can do.

Game 4: Bobcats (3-1) at Magic (0-4), 2 PM - The Magic would like to leave their own league without getting shut out in the win department, but a more important goal for them is to see what exactly they have in Daniel Orton, the project center they drafted 29th overall this year. He had his best game yesterday, with four points and four rebounds, though he did shoot merely 2-of-6 from the floor. A team official told me, though, that Orton's stretch of active, engaged play in the second half was his best of the summer, which encouraged the team. Two of the Bobcats' three wins this week have come at the buzzer, so they're a prime candidate to be the Magic's first victim, despite their 3-1 record. Can the Magic force the combination of Derrick Brown and Gerald Henderson to shoot Charlotte out of contention?

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