Thunder Lose Summer League Opener
By Randy Renner
At times you saw just what you wanted to out of Perry Jones III and Mitch McGary and at times the whole thing was about as ugly a performance as could be.
But hey, that's Summer League hoops for ya.
Jones led the Thunder with 15 points in their opening 84-63 loss at the Orlando Summer League Saturday afternoon.
Jones was 5-for-7 shooting (2-for-2 on threes) and pulled down six rebounds. He also managed to hold onto the ball when he had it, he was the ONLY Thunder player who did not have at least one turnover.
The Thunder gave it away 26 times while the Grizzlies had only eight turnovers. That difference was basically the difference in the game.
Turnovers are generally expected when you bring together guys who haven't played together in a while (or not at all ever) but still, 26?! Yikes.
Jeremy Lamb finished with 14 points which looks pretty good except that it took him 12 shots to get there. He was just 4-for-12 overall and 1-for-7 from deep. Lamb is hoping to be the Thunder's starting shooting guard next season but he'll need better days than he had today. On the bright side he was 5-for-6 on free throws. His teammates were 13-for-24 from the stripe.
Thunder rookies McGary and Semaj Christon each scored eight points. Christon had four rebounds and McGary three. The big guy looked really good at times, showing no signs of the back problems that caused him to miss most of last season at Michigan. McGary was active, showed a lot of hustle and really got after it.
Steven Adams finished with seven points and also wound up with a bruised shin. He was injured in the first half but came back and played in the second so he shouldn't be hindred too much going forward. Andre Roberson finished with five points.
Memphis rookie shooter Jordan Adams, who was taken right after McGary led all scorers with 22 points on 5-for-12 shooting overall but he was 4-for-6 from deep.
It's always difficult not to read too much into anything you see in Summer League but again I was pretty impressed with McGary, at least from the effort standpoint. I was really interested to see how much he could play and how well he could move after having the back issue but he didn't seem to struggle with that at all.
The turnover problems should get better as these guys get a little more used to each other and again it's Summer League.
But Lamb's shot not falling is a bit concerning. He had trouble with his confidence last season when his shots didn't fall so that could creep back in now. You'd like to see him have some success in Orlando that he can build on going into training camp.
The Thunder will be back in action Sunday at 4pm Oklahoma time to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. You can see the game in NBA-TV