What Happened in Vegas — Wizards NBA Summer League Game 1 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

What Happened in Vegas — Wizards NBA Summer League Game 1

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Updated: July 9, 2017

[Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)]


LAS VEGAS – It’s that wonderful time of the year when the entire NBA world gathers to melt in 110-degree temperatures and watch basketball. The Washington Wizards played their first game in the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Here’s a quick rundown of what went down, including news involving the real Wizards.

The Game.

Looking like a bunch of dudes who formed a team minutes before the game for the first three quarters, the Wizards rallied late. Down 16 in the second half, Washington took a fourth quarter lead, but Wayne Selden’s 3-point play with 2.3 seconds left propelled Memphis to a 91-88 win. Wing guard Jared Cunningham, one of few true newcomers with any NBA experience, dominated for Washington with 26 points on 7-for-12 shooting in 20 minutes. Daniel Ochefu added 13 points and 10 rebounds while Wizards point guard Kevin Pangos (seven assists, one turnover) deftly ran the offense. Of course, the result means squat, but props for the actual Wiz kids for not punting.

The Drop By.

Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre Jr. watched the game courtside. Camaraderie, folks. Turns out the day also marked Oubre’s first full workout following a right knee procedure immediately after the season ended.

The Intrigue.

In the context of the NBA roster, there really wasn’t any in the opener. The no draft pick factor is, well, a factor. That is unless someone steps up. Ochefu hit all seven of his free throws, showed off his passing game, and made things difficult around the rim for Memphis. Meanwhile, Mike “Two-Way” Young went 3-for-13 in his debut after agreeing to terms with Washington as a two-way G-League player. Sheldon Mac, who recently suffered an ankle injury during practice, had nine points in 19 minutes. As for Chris McCullough, hope that he might salvage the Bojan Bogdanovic trade took a blow. The 6-foot-11 forward certainly looks the part physically, but he didn’t impress or look competent in any specific area. His shooting touch need real work and he looked awkward handling the ball, finishing with five turnovers. As a reminder, the 2015 first round pick is on the regular season roster barring a trade. He also hasn’t played in essentially three years after suffering a knee injury during his final season at Syracuse. Another Reminder: All Summer League performances demand major chill, including the dicey ones. Maybe especially the dicey ones.

The Hmmm.

Washington released three players from their summer camp roster prior to the opener. The headliner, if such a thing exists, is Isaac Humphries. That’s basically because he’s a 7-footer who played (sparingly) for John Calipari at Kentucky the past two years. Meanwhile, Jasonn Hannibal, a member of Washington’s staff and a former college player, is part of the roster along with 33-year-old former lottery pick Ike Diogu.

The Notable.

Don’t fall in love with Cunningham just yet. He spent last season in China after bouncing around the NBA for four seasons. That said, if keeps attacking and producing and the Wizards don’t add additional wing depth – Jamal Crawford is signing with the Timberwolves – perhaps Cunningham gets a longer look in training camp. Eh, probably not.

The Watchers.

Among those on hand — not including Ernie Grunfeld and Scott Brooks — former Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, Mike Miller, Danilo Galinari, Larry Brown, and … Andrew Nicholson.

The Quote.

“A lot of it is just going through the growing pains after just a few days of practice. We had a lot of guys all new to each other. I think a lot of guys learned just how physical and aggressive they need to be. It was a good test for the first game.” —Wizards summer league head coach Chad Iske

The Shameless Plug.

Hear more from Oubre, Iske and Cunningham on the next “Locked on Wizards” podcast plus more Summer League and Wizards analysis.

Ben Standig on Twitter
Ben Standig
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Ben Standig is the longest-running beat writer covering the Washington Wizards and hosts the daily "Locked on Wizards podcast." Ben also focuses on Georgetown men's basketball for SBNation plus fantasy football and the NFL Draft for CSNmidatlantic.com. His written work can also be with NBCwashington.com, Associated Press and The Sports Xchange.