Blazers open up Summer League with a win
Game 1 goes to the Blazers
The Blazers opened up the Las Vegas Summer League with a 93-78 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
he game was the first game in a Trail Blazers uniform for rookie draft picks Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. and it was a chance to see all the offseason work players like Wade Baldwin, Caleb Swanigan, and Zach Collins put in. The boys in black did not disappoint...
Baldwin, who was a late-season signee with the Blazers last year, had one heck of a game. He was incredibly efficient running the point, and the Utah defense had no answer for his speed and quickness. The only way to stop him was to remove him from the game - which the Jazz did when Baldwin was ejected for a "hostile act" after getting tangled up with Jazz rookie Grayson Allen.
Baldwin finished with 20 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and shot 9 of 13 from the floor.
The rookie out of Duke had an impressive debut, showcasing a great ability to get his shot off and get to the free throw line.
Trent played 20 minutes off the bench, was the team's second-leading scorer with 16 points, and shot 9 of 9 from the charity stripe.
Portland's other draft pick, Anfernee Simons, started slow but ended strong. Remember that since Simons didn't attend college this was by far the highest level of talent he has ever played against. There was a natural feeling out process. Once he found his groove he looked impressive.
Simons finished with 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting.
Swanigan was a star last year in Las Vegas, earning First-Team All-Summer League honors, and he once again looked impressive. He was a nonstop source of energy for Portland and showed some great improvement all over the court.
Swanigan finished with a double-double, 11 points and 13 rebounds, and was a game-high +24.
The Las Vegas native had a rough night on Saturday, scoring just five points on 2 for 12 shooting. However, he was wearing a very large black mask to protect a broken nose he suffered last week in practice. Players tend to struggle to find their shot when they have a mask hindering their vision.
But it wasn't all bad for Collins. He grabbed seven rebounds, dished five assists, and was a thorn in the side of Utah big man Isaac Haas. One thing we learned about Collins, he knows how to play a good head game.