REAX: Wizards Summer League Game 1 — Kelly Oubre Rides the Vegas Wave | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

REAX: Wizards Summer League Game 1 — Kelly Oubre Rides the Vegas Wave

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Updated: July 9, 2016

[Photo credit: CSN's esteemed Benjamin Standig, via mobile telephone]

[Photo credit: CSN’s esteemed Benjamin Standig, via mobile telephone]

After a few humble, scoreless minutes, the Wizards arrived at their Las Vegas Summer League debut. And less than an hour of game time later, they took their final swing in this summer sledgehammer of a performance, putting Trey Lyles’ Jazz to bed in an 88-73 Washington win. The Wizards don’t have very many, if any, regular season roster players outside of Oubre on their Summer League team, but the group they have in Vegas played incredibly hard, beating a bigger, stronger Utah team on the glass and forcing 20 Jazz turnovers. Washington pulled away in the second half, out-scoring Utah 29-14 in the third quarter while unfamiliar names like Danuel House and Micheal Eric muted the Jazz’s efforts on the floor and the glass. Ride with me.

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Kelly Oubre, Jr.
28 mins | 20 pts | 6-19 FGs, 2-10 3Ps, 6-7 FTs | 8 rebs (3 off) | 1 ast | 4 stl | 3 TOs

Oubre, starting in an interchangeable 2/3 position alongside 2016’s Gary Neal replacement Jarrell Eddie, started off with classic millennial anxiety, blazing his own trail with quick shots and setting his own priorities on defense by letting a few Utah players get the step on him before he looked up from his Game Boy Color. Meanwhile, Utah sophomore Trey Lyles got off to a hot start. Not content to let Lyles be the evening’s only star, Oubre strapped his boogie board’s velcro strap around his wrist and rode out against the current. It wasn’t always easy going, and Oubre’s insistence on making an impact even when disadvantaged led to a lack of efficiency that may scare some off of what was really an impressive performance.

What paced Oubre’s rocky shooting display was a heartening commitment to getting to the line, and making good on the opportunities once there. He started the game by intercepting a bad Utah pass and missing a 3-pointer, but ended the game by tracking down an offensive rebound and beating a Jazz player who didn’t anticipate Oubre’s hustle. And Oubre’s defense got better over the course of the game, ignoring the pain of fatigue and clamping down with the help of Washington’s bigs around the rim. Oubre can do everything, but he can’t do anything at an elite, or even high, level yet. A similar Summer League start for Oubre compared with last year, when he also scored 20 points in his first-ever game. Except this time around the kid doesn’t have Otto Porter to bat in front of him. No matter. The tide’s coming in for Wave Papi, who rolled his shorts halfway up his thighs for a reason he’s probably communicated in the language of young people on his web apps.

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  • Aaron White, last year’s second round draft pick, hit the first basket of the game, a straight on 3-point shot that had the game’s announcers cooing about his stretchiness. And White looks the part, with a quick step that he used to get a booming second-half dunk during a Jazz defensive breakdown. But White also turned the ball over three times and struggled to defend without fouling. In one instance, he managed to tip the ball away, only to miss a chance at the steal and over-committed trying to get the turnover. The ball made its way back up the court and the Jazz scored quickly.
  • Tibor Pleiss, Utah’s 7-foot 3 pick-and-pop center got destroyed by Washington’s bigs, grabbing one rebound in 24 minutes and failing to make much of an impact on the game at all outside of his impressive stature.

Midrange

  • Jarrell Eddie’s numbers weren’t impressive, what with the 0-for-3 performance from behind the line (supposedly his raison d’être with the Wizards) but he was a really nice complement to Oubre and played off his teammates’ strengths with aplomb. While Oubre still struggles to feed passes to players who are in a position to score and often rises up for awkward leaning shots, Eddie played a controlled, calm game that befitted someone who practiced with the big boys last year. (Also, congratulations to Jarrell on his engagement last week!)
  • Danuel House and Micheal Eric both made me scramble for the computer, saying “Who is this guy?” Is that an effective way of describing their contributions? Probably not. Here’s what they did:
    • Eric made a run for Oubre and caught Oubre’s only assist of the night on a nice dunk, then came back down the floor, got a defensive rebound, passed the ball up, watched another Wizard miss a shot, rebounded the ball, and put it back up for a nice second-chance layup.
    • In the last four minutes of the third quarter, Wizards swingman Danuel House hit a 3-pointer, assisted new D.C. signee Daniel Ochefu for his first Wizards points, rebounded a clanged Kelly Oubre Jr. 3-pointer, missed a dunk, made a dunk, and assisted a Sterling Gibbs 3-pointer. In other words, he was Summer League incarnate. Unexpectedly fun to watch and most likely not long for our eyes.

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  • Trey Lyles was by far the most polished player on the floor, and dominated the first frame of the game, opening up the floor with his 3-point shot and beasting when he had to do so. This follows an impressive rookie year in which he shot 38 percent from the 3-point line as the modern stretch 4. He’s got work to do, particularly in making the most of his possessions that don’t end in a long ball, but the future is bright. If you’re wondering: Lyles was drafted 12th overall, a difficult region of the draft that the Wizards braintrust has traded out of in two of the last three summers.
  • The Wizards play tomorrow at 4 p.m. Eastern vs. the Summer Hawks of Atlanta.

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Conor Dirks
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
Conor has been with TAI since 2012, and aids in the seamless editorial process that brings you the kind of high-octane blogging you have come to expect from this rad website. The Wizards have been an assiduous companion throughout his years on the cosmic waiver wire. He lives in D.C. and is day-to-day.