The Reaction: Wizards Summer League Game 5: Wiz Kids Cash Out In Vegas
In their fifth and last summer league game, the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 78-75, to leave Las Vegas with a 3-2 record. TAI’s Adam McGinnis from behind the television and Kyle Weidie, courtside in Sin City, take you through The Reaction. But first: a smooth Bradley Beal drive near the end of the third quarter…
Bradley Beal might not have wowed in Vegas with high scoring outputs or super flashy highlight packages (he didn’t drop 35 like Josh Selby, but averaging 17.6 points over five games isn’t bad), but the Washington faithful can rest assured that he did not disappoint. Beal displayed the consistency on both ends that the Washington franchise has sorely lacked at the shooting guard position for years, and Beal is only a teenager. His effective style was showcased against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Wizards’ summer league finale. Beal finished with a team-high 18 points (7-for-13 field goals), six rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal.
He nailed jumpers on dribble drives, off spot-ups, finished in transition, and sprinkled in a few floaters. When he attacks the basket, he does so instinctively — almost effortlessly — and can draw contact for fouls; this aggressiveness will give him the benefit of the doubt on many whistles in the future. Beal rarely forces play, choosing his spots wisely even if he’s mired in a mini-drought of missed buckets. His calm demeanor masks any frustrations while he finds other ways to positively impact the game. Beal recovers sharply on defense without fouling and has advanced timing on his shot-blocking prowess. There are some memorable takeaways from the 2012 Wizards Summer League (Jan Vesely with 10 fouls!), but the most important one will be that “Real Deal Beal” is an appropriate nickname. The 19-year-old baller is going to be a treat watch this fall.
—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)
The 6-foot-8, 23-year old Jeff Brooks, undrafted out of Penn State in 2011, really showed some nice versatility throughout the summer league slate. Against the Bucks he scored eight points (4-for-5 field goals) in 18 minutes off the bench. In 60 total summer league minutes over four games, Brooks scored 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go with 17 rebounds (five offensive). Here’s a drive that the defense gave him:
Is Steven Gray the best shooter on this Wizards summer league team? That’s the question I asked on Twitter during the Bucks game … and it’s certainly up for debate. In total, over three appearances, he went 2-for-11 from the 3-point line, but he displayed nice awareness of a mid-range game within the offense, as well as some long catch-and-shoot 2-pointers off passes from teammates. In just 13 minutes off the bench against Milwaukee, Gray contributed eight points; his 4-for-7 effort pushed his shooting in Vegas to 50-percent (10-for-20). But as far as long distance shooting over five games — Earl Calloway finished 5-for-10 (.500), Shelvin Mack 5-for-17 (.294), Bradley Beal 6-for-20 (.300), and Chris Singleton 4-for-13 (.308) — let’s just say it could be better. Here’s a look at a nice assist from Beal to Gray for a long 2-pointer:
—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)
One of the major story lines for the Wizards entering the Las Vegas Summer League was whether or not the team could count on Shelvin Mack to be the backup point guard heading into training camp this fall. Mack was unable to seize the summer opportunity, as his rocky play throughout the five games did little to dispel notion that Washington needs to acquire a veteran ball handler. Against the Bucks, Mack had a miserable stretch in the first half where he hit the side of the backboard on a shot, had his transition pull-up jumper blocked, and then he chucked an outlet pass out of bounds for a turnover. Mack bounced back in the second half with a few nice scoring moves, but during a pivotal possession in the final minute, he foolishly tried to challenge Milwaukee’s shot blocking specialist, Larry Sanders. The ex-VCU star easily rejected Mack’s attempt out of bounds off of a Wizards player, giving the Bucks one last chance to tie or win the game. Mack finished the game with zero assists in 23 minutes. The “steady” moniker placed upon Shelvin for most of his rookie year appears to have evaporated in the Nevada desert.
—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)
That was … a sloppy finale.
I couldn’t quite see how fired up Sam Cassell got behind the curtain of the Wizards’ makeshift “locker room” at the Cox Pavilion during halftime with the Wizards down 49-37 to the Bucks. Nor could I hear what he was saying, but Sam I Am was yelling at this players from almost the moment they stepped off the court. Maybe the Wiz Kids were sluggish because this was their last game in Las Vegas — the fifth game in six days with a Wednesday night redeye flight back to Washington awaiting them. Mere excuses, though. The most glaring halftime stat: 16 Milwaukee second-chance points compared to zero for the Wizards. I asked Cassell about his halftime speech:
“If you’d have heard what I had to say to them… hopefully that put a fire to them. But they responded. I said some things that wasn’t really nice, but it was the truth at that particular time. But, hey, we won the game. I’m happy, I think our coach is happy, and we’ll go forward from that.”
The Wizards out-scored the Bucks 25-16 in the third quarter and 16-10 in the fourth. It wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done. Let’s go to the video of Cassell talking about his biggest takeaway from the summer league experience:
—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)
In the second half, Shelvin Mack and Chris Singleton had a tough time inbounding the ball … and they both had some advice for each other once it happened.
Shelvin: “Give me the f-ing ball!”
Singleton: “Get the fuck open.”
It’s OK, boys, just practice it a little bit more.
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