Day 1 of the NBA's Orlando Summer League is in the books, and a couple of first-round picks had big days. Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones III were both expected to be high picks at one point this season, but both fell out of the lottery for various reasons. On Monday, they took steps towards proving their doubters wrong in a game against each other.
Jared Sullinger is proving his doubters wrong. He's a load to handle in the paint (going 7-7 from the free throw line) and his jumper looks good and he can put it on the floor (shooting 6-12), but he needs to continue to lose weight and become more agile laterally. There were several times when he showed hard on a pick-and-roll and backpedaled out of control in recovery. Offensively though, he's a stud.
Jones was a standout performer for the Thunder with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Welcome To Loud City recapped his game.
It's true that the concerns voiced about Jones' game and effort have some merit, as he did settle for a few jumpers and wasn't part of the offense at times. But he never really took a contested shot, and he managed to get high percentage looks around the rim, got a putback at one point, and even took on Fab Melo. Heck, he was even drawing double-teams. His most memorable moments came when he scored a sick fadeaway after creating space on JaJuan Johnson, and when he rebounded his own post shot for a quick score.
Elsewhere, a pair of Orlando Magic rookies put in great performances. The forward tandem of Kyle O'Quinn and Andrew Nicholson combined for 40 points and 16 rebounds in the Magic's 92-88 win over the Brooklyn Nets. MarShon Brooks, who is rumored to be involved in the Nets' potential trade for Dwight Howard, shot 0-10 from the floor.
Second-round pick Orlando Johnson out of UC-Santa Barbara was the Indiana Pacers' top performer in their 69-63 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, with 19 points. Jacob Pullen, who just returned to the United States after a year playing professionally in Italy, led the Sixers with 15 points.
A number of Detroit Pistons youngsters had good days, with rookie Kim English leading the way with 18 points in their 76-73 win over the Utah Jazz. NBA regulars Brandon Knight and Austin Daye also scored in double digits, along with former Duke star Kyle Singler, who recently joined the Pistons from Real Madrid. Deron Washington, who has bounced around the D-League and Europe, led the Jazz with 13 points in just nine minutes on the floor.
For more on the Orlando Pro Summer League and the Las Vegas Summer League, visit this StoryStream.