Orlando Pro Summer League Day 1: Thoughts and Tidbits
Let’s start with the information that Magic fans are most curious to hear about… Daniel Orton. His debut brought both good news and bad news. The good news is that he showed he has the potential to be a real enforcer inside. The bad news is… well, everything else. He struggled from the get go with his jump shot and generally looked lost on the offensive side of the ball. He was called for three early fouls and never seemed to find his rhythm. He stated after the game that the refs seemed to really take him out of the game. Were they whistle happy? Yes. However, I find it hard to believe that had much to do with his disappointing game. Especially considering he had more turnovers and fouls than he did points and rebounds. More importantly, he became quite possibly the first guy to ever get thrown out of a summer league game. During the 3rd quarter, Josh McRoberts and Orton got tangled up after McRoberts got rocked on a pick. McRoberts got mad and shoved Orton and Orton shoved him right back. The refs thought that punches were thrown and both players were sent to the showers. Replays would show this wasn’t the case and Orton reported the same thing after the game. The ejection was probably the best case scenario for Orton as he certainly had a game that he will want to put behind him quickly.
As for other Magic players, nobody really stood out on Day One. Second round pick Stanley Robinson had just 4 points but showed that he can be an effective rebounder pulling down 7 boards and exhibiting strong hustle play the entire time he was on the court. Jerome Randle, who is GENEROUSLY listed as 5’10”, showed some signs of flashiness and leadership but overall seemed to struggle getting his shots off due to his lack of size. Jeff Adrien showed some real promise on the boards (10 rebounds) and might be one of the most jacked guys in all of summer league. I would definitely pay to see Adrien and Serge Ibaka in an MMA fight.
Other random observations from day one:
- I got the chance to sit next to Doc Rivers during the Celtics game and he mentioned that the Celtics really need another shooter. It’s already been reported that they are targeting J.J. Redick; this would seem to further prove that report is accurate.
- Patrick Ewing Jr led the Magic with 15 points on 7-17 shooting. I think 13 of those 17 shots were off balanced fade aways. Not the best shot selection by young Ewing.
- Magic F Ben McCauley failed to finish a perfectly thrown alley-oop pass which only helped to further perpetuate the stereotypes of white athletes.
- Daniel Orton’s facial expression never changes. Never, ever changes.
- Gordon Hayward is even paler in person.
- Kevin Durant might be the greatest teammate of all time. Especially for a superstar. I haven’t decided if this is a good thing or could ultimately be his downfall.
- Charlotte Center Alexis Ajinca is the first professional basketball player I have ever seen that has cankles. Not fat cankles, skinny ones. Calf muscles are non-existent.
- James Augustine will be on an NBA roster next season. If not, the only potential explanation is collusion by the owners to keep him out. His hustle and effort had the gym buzzing. Is it too late to add him back to the Magic roster?
Check back tomorrow evening for Day 2 notes.