Six thoughts after tonight’s 89-64 loss to the Wizards:
- Eric Bledsoe did a fantastic job getting into the paint, but his feet were just too fast for the rest of his body on many plays. Early returns on Bledsoe are that he’s lighning quick, but he’s got a long way to go in developing better court awareness and vision. That will come with time and familiartiy with his teammates, two things he’s short on right now. He’s got a ways to go before he can run a team, but the raw talent was clearly on display tonight. Summer League is typically dominated by ballhandlers, and that held true. Bledsoe was by far the most assertive guy on the floor for the Clippers, and his floaters and layups in the paint were the best offense the Clippers could muster all evening.
- Tonight was a friendly reminder of just how sloppy Summer League play is. It’s not bad because the players aren’t talented, but rather the circumstances. These guys have played together for just a few days. Each guy is trying to stand out over the other one, which isn’t conducive to snappy, clean team play. With all that said, tonight was a little ridiculous. The young Clips turned the ball over 29 times on the evening, with a good handful of them being laughable. Even worse? Seven assists total on the evening.
- Not exactly the debut I expected from Sofoklis Schortsanitis, but in hindsight perhaps I should have expected it. This is Summer League. The offensive sets are pretty much non-existent, and the spacing obviously isn’t going to be the best. On top of that, it’s not easy to get touches in a high pace game as a 300-pound man who does his work with his back to the basket. That all makes sense. Sofo forced the action a little bit on his first two post touches, and only got 14 minutes on the evening. It’s going to be tough to get a proper appraisal on the big man if he doesn’t get the minutes, touches, spacing, and cooperation from his teammates necessary to show off his talents.
- Al-Farouq Aminu showed off some early nerves by airballing his first jumper, but he finally got something to go his way later in the game with a nice drive and emphatic dunk in traffic. Aminu never really looked comfortable on the floor, often choosing incorrectly when to be aggressive and when to swing the ball. He led the team in rebounds with 7, but he spent a good portion of the Clips’ offensive sets hanging out on the perimeter waiting for the ball to come to him. Not many rookies play instinctive, free basketball their first times out, and Aminu was no exception to the rule.
- DeAndre Jordan should never, ever, be the focus of an offensive gameplan. That’s not a revelation, but it was nice to see DeAndre get some touches even if they were interesting, to say the least. Probably my favorite play of the evening was DeAndre facing up from about 17-feet, taking one dribble to his left, then spinning quickly to the right and trying to dunk from what looked like the free throw line. The crazy thing was, he almost did it right through the hard foul. Maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious. Sometimes DeAndre plays just like an NBA Jam character, ya know?
- Nik Caner-Medley just loves Summer ball, apparently. He tied Bledsoe for the team leader in points with 17, but particularly impressive was his 3-for-4 shooting performance from beyond the arc. End of roster guys don’t have to be as well-rounded as some of the other players do. Caner-Medley leaves a lot to be desired on the defensive end, but he’s kind of a ballhawk on the offensive glass and showed he’s got some range on his jumper. He’ll have to shoot his way into it, but the Clippers will probably give him a nice look if he keeps this up.