REAX: Wizards Summer League Game 3 — Wizards Make Matinée Magic; No Steelo Show in Vegas | Wizards Blog Truth About

REAX: Wizards Summer League Game 3 — Wizards Make Matinée Magic; No Steelo Show in Vegas

Updated: July 14, 2015

John Wall, dripping with gold, watches from his courtside seat. [Photo via]

John Wall, dripping with gold, watches from his courtside seat. [Photo via]

Two winless teams entered the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tuesday afternoon. One, the Washington Wizards, emerged victorious, now 1-2 in summer league competition.

It was a close, relatively high-scoring affair, with the Wizards and Dallas Mavericks racking up 164 points between them. This was a bit of a surprise, reflecting on the almost amateur action, given the Mavs made just one-third of their attempts from the field; the Wiz shot 47.1 percent. Worse: The two teams combined to go 5-for-44 from 3-point range. The Mavericks made the majority (3) on 31 attempts, while the Summer Wizards, now famous for eschewing the long ball, went 2-for-13.

The 85-79 final score was brought to you by the free throw line. On the Wizards side of things, it was about volume: 17-for-29 (58.6%). On the Mavs side it was about volume AND efficiency. They shot better than 81 percent from the stripe, going 26-for-32. (That means 32.9% of their point total came from the free throw line.)

But you didn’t come here for statistics tartar. You came for analysis flambé. Read on!

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Jarrid Famous
20 mins | 16 pts | 7-12 FGs, 0-0 3Ps, 2-4 FTs | 9 rebs (6 off) | 1 blk

Yep. Again. His big-time point total in Washington’s second summer league game against the D-League team was mostly a product of taking a dozen free throw attempts, but it was a different story against the Mavericks. At 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds, Famous had the size, strength, and touch to lead the Wizards in scoring. One knock on his performance: he needlessly left his feet to contest an under-the-basket attempt from the Mavericks’ rangy forward/center Dwight Powell, which led to a pair of free throws.

Oh. It must be mentioned that Famous shook the stanchion with a game-high three dunks, including one of Jarrid’s famous alley-oops, assisted by rookie Kelly Oubre, Jr. Enjoy this while you can.

Shawn Jones
21 mins | 12 pts | 4-8 FGs, 0-0 3Ps, 4-6 FTs | 9 rebs (5 off) | 1 stl | 2 blk | 2 TOs

Shawn Jones is built like a barrel. A 6-foot-8, DeJuan Blair-shaped barrel. And he looks more effective out there on the hardwood than the aforementioned barrel-looking Wizards big man. He followed up a strong effort in Washington’s second summer league game with an impressive outing against Dallas, especially in the first half.

Jones used a decent looking jumper to score his first points of the game, which were followed by a pair of made free throws on four attempts from the line. He ended the first quarter by gobbling up an Oubre airball from the top of the arc and kissing the ball off the glass before the end-of-quarter horn. That timely make gave the ‘Zards an eight-point lead going into the second. What Jones did next might surprise you! He sunk a wild, acrobatic reverse layup under pressure below the basket in the second quarter. And then he started blowing up point guard Maalik Wayns’ (1) spot. On another occasion, late in the game, Wayns spun into the lane (a perfect spin move, it should be noted), but Jones followed him every step of the way: layup returned to sender. He also swatted away an attempt from 6-foot-6 guard Justin Anderson. Now, the official record has Jones with two blocks, so somebody’s #BasketballMath is off and I’m, oh, 95 percent sure it isn’t mine.

He’s not a perfect prospect—a bit undersized without eye-popping athleticism, which was evident on two second-half drives, one of which resulted in an easy transition layup and the other in an and-1 for Jordan Crawford (who had a Crawful game: 3-for-13 from the field, 0-for-7 from 3). Famous is one of two big men on the Summer Wizards squad who have had the better summer league so far (Aaron White being the other), but shout-out to Shawn Jones for a good showing.

Kelly Oubre, Jr.
26 mins | 11 pts | 4-11 FGs, 1-5 3Ps, 2-6 FTs | 6 rebs (2 off) | 3 stl | 1 blk | 4 TOs

Oubre swished his first 3-pointer of the game. A smooth, straight, up-and-down attempt from the top of the arc. And I was like, YO WHEN DID JAMES HARDEN JOIN THE WIZARDS SUMMER LEAGUE TEAM?!?

Nah. The kid’s jump shot still hasn’t turned up in Vegas. But that’s OK, at least according to John Wall, who was interviewed from his courtside seat by NBA TV’s sideline reporter Jen Hale. “I talked to him yesterday, it ain’t about proving you can make jump shots right now,” Wall said. “It’s doing what your strengths are: attacking the basket, playing defense, doing the little things.”

The good news: Oubre did those little, defensive-type things from the opening tip, proof of which will NOT be found in the box score. He used his 7-foot-2 wingspan to block Jeremy Tyler, which looked clean but was ruled a foul by the referees, and later chased down Powell for another block, which was again called a foul. Oubre smiled after the second whistle, as if to say, ‘Fine, fine, call that a foul, but you Mavericks better believe I’m out here hunting.’

And, in the final minute of a four-point game, he used his long arms to pull down a big rebound and, moments later, to deflect a Mavs inbounds pass, which was recovered by the Wiz. Defensive dagger.

Thumbs Down

  • Kelly Oubre‘s rug-burn raw offense! There’s plenty to like in his still-developing skill set, but there are two things that are apparently clear when watching him run against summer league scrubs and NBA hopefuls. He doesn’t have much of a right hand—like, he really, really doesn’t want to use it and looks awkward driving in that direction. One one play, Oubre was forced right, tripped over his own feet in between three Mavericks defenders and, fighting to keep possession on one knee, had the ball ripped from his hands. (He did set-up a few defenders with a left-right-left crossover, which was cool.) The other issue? Oubre tends to settle for this weird spin jumper when his angle to the basket gets cut off. It rarely goes in and it’s clear that the spinning J is not an intentional space-maker but a desperation move.
  • Orlando Johnson, man. The NBA TV crew described the Wizards’ starting 2-guard as a “scorer,” but there wasn’t much scoring to be seen from O.J. against the zero-win Mavericks. This UC Santa Barbara Gaucho went 1-for-5 from the field, 0-for-3 from the arc (in good company in this contest), and finished with the worst plus/minus on the team. His three assists were a nice plus, but nowhere near good enough.


  • Scott Machado bounced back from a tough second game to score a dozen points (on eight shots), collect six assists, dish five dimes, block a shot, and pick up two steals. The Nicki Minaj-sized but(t): Machado shared the honor of committing a game-high four turnovers with Jordan Crawford (and Oubre, but he’s a rookie and a first-round pick so he gets a pass).
  • Aaron White, no stranger to this section. I was impressed by some of his close-outs, even on perimeter players. This 6-foot-9, red-haired forward is more athletic than you might think. On Tuesday afternoon, White consistently used his size and speed to create problems, whether that was in transition (where he scored a layup with what looked like but certainly wasn’t a Euro step) or on the boards, especially on the defensive end (team-high 6). He was active and often open, dashing to the hoop or cutting baseline, but the point guard play (see above) didn’t do him many favors. Still, he did get to go back to his hotel room with a game-high plus/minus of plus-11. A work in progress, overall.
  • Former first-round selection Damion James. His numbers (15 points, 4 rebounds) look better in the box score. He mostly hung around inside the arc, looking to post up, but when he didn’t receive an inbounds pass (see: Machado, Scott), he would slip into space for a midrange look. James’ defense was solid enough, but there’s just not enough there—for me—to get too excited about his NBA potential, even if he averaged nearly 20 points per game with the D-League’s Texas Legends.


  • John Wall opened up to Washington Wizards beat writers away from the floor at the Thomas & Mack Center. What he said was highly quotable. First things first: His hand is <one hunnid emoji/> and no worse for wear. Second, Wall expected Pierce to retire and, if not, to leave D.C. “I think he wanted a two-year deal or whatever so I knew it wasn’t going to work after that,” the All-Star said. Wall also predicted that Kelly Oubre will thrive as a Wizard and compared him to “Yung Simba”: “I think he’s going to be great for us. I think he’s somebody like Otto but probably more athletic and able to move.” (Yeah, he could have phrased that better; poor Otto.) Last but not least, the money quote—quite literally—that will be republished across the internet:

“Man, everybody talking about me getting $80 million and you got people getting $85 and $90 million that ain’t been an All-Star or anything like that. I guess they came in at the right time. The new [TV money] kicked in at the right time … and they’re good now. Like, Reggie Jackson gets 5 years, 80. Like, I’m getting the same amount as Reggie Jackson right now.”


  • Here’s a heartwarming something something from the Kelly Oubre coverage. This was sourced from NBA TV’s Jen Hale. After a “disappointing” Game 2, Oubre called his trainer and had a personal, private workout at around 10 p.m. on Sunday night. Hale said that Oubre is working so hard because “he’s playing for more than himself.” She went on to share that he was raised by a single father, a 9th grade special education teacher, who worked odd jobs, including a gig as an insurance salesman. Oubre is “conscious of the sacrifices his father made.” The father-son duo are close: Kelly Oubre, Sr. cried when Junior left home for the first time.


  1. Washington’s summer league point guard of yesteryear.
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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.