No, the Wizards going winless in the 2017 NBA Summer League does not mean anything in the big picture. Though the passion is appreciated, those tweeting criticism about coaching decisions (that actually happened) should take a breath and settle down. Fidget spinners are said to be therapeutic. Maybe buy one of those.
Despite the losses, there was plenty to learn from the Wizards' five games. Here are some thoughts and observations...
Devin Robinson has legitimate, NBA-level athleticism
Robinson's addition to the Summer League roster added intrigue because his potential is obvious. He is 6-8 with a 7-1 wingspan and a 41-inch vertical leap. It turns out the Wizards had bigger plans for him, as they signed the Florida forward to a two-way contract, meaning he will have one of their 17 roster spots heading into next season. Robinson didn't have the best Summer League overall (3.4 ppg, 18.2 FG%), but he did show flashes in a small sample size. This putback slam in Friday's loss to the Timberwolves was a direct reminder of why the Wizards think this guy can turn into something some day:
— NBA (@NBA) July 14, 2017
Marcus Keene can definitely score
Keene proved in Las Vegas that his scoring ability is not just limited to the mid-major college level. It took him a few games, but Keene found his rhythm and left with a 11.3 points per game average on 50 percent shooting from the field. A 5-9 guard, Keene led the NCAA in scoring last season at Central Michigan with 30 points per game. He went undrafted, but felt this was the time to leave school after his junior year in part because of Isaiah Thomas' success this past season for the Celtics. After his performance in Vegas, don't be surprised if Keene draws interest from somebody on a two-way deal.
Daniel Ochefu and Sheldon Mac got better
We didn't see much of Ochefu or Mac at the NBA level this past season, as they were stuck on the end of the Wizards' bench for most of the year. But both clearly benefitted from having that year under their belt in this year's Summer League. Both played confidently and aggressively and looked like NBA players should when going up against lesser competition. For Ochefu, it was apparent in his play around the rim. There were several times where he flashed polish in the post. For Mac, it was his motor and speed on the fastbreak. He was blowing past people even with a bum ankle.
Chris McCullough remains raw, but intriguing
McCullough got plenty of shots in this year's Summer League as a focal point of the Wizards' offense. He took 48 field goal attempts, but shot just 29.2 percent. Of his 14 makes, many of them were powerful dunks that provided some of the best highlights of the Wizards' five games. But beyond dunking, McCullough was still limited on that end of the floor. If he is going to play his way into the Wizards' rotation this upcoming season, he will have to earn Scott Brooks' trust on defense. His 5.6 rebounds per game in 22.2 minutes were solid. McCullough has the athleticism to play at the NBA level, but he has to find his niche. Once he finds a way to use his size and leaping ability to protect the rim, he could make a nice career for himself.
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