(Yes, it’s late and I hope this is a great way to fill in the gaps in
Wolves summer action.)
After watching game 3, I wanted to share my thoughts on games from
Vegas. Here’s main impressions and how they impact the upcoming 2015-
2016 NBA season.
Immediately, the announcers made it clear the Wolves are on the rise.
They pointed out it’s been 10 years of under .500 ball for Minnesota
and noted that should change with the recent additions.
The #SummerLeague is built to determine who fills out your roster. It
gives NBA teams a chance to give solid time to players who need
development and who may or may not be NBA ready. For Summer Wolves
guard Othyus Jeffers, this is another chance to show Minnesota he is
ready. Jeffers, or simply “0” (I was told that was his nickname when I
saw him play live in Des Moines with the Energy) joined the Wolves two
seasons ago (last year he played in the Philippine Basketball
In his return to the Wolves, he’s shows aggressiveness and hustle. I
don’t see him bringing the ball up the court, but his drive and effort
can give him a spot on the roster. Last year’s Wolves needed guards
and I see an opportunity for him.
O’s dilemma might be foul shots. During the first half of this game vs
the Jazz, O missed both foul shots (can’t call ’em free throws when
you miss ’em). The roster will be interesting to see develop. This
summer the foundation is set and roster spots will be hard to get for
some. I think O could make it and if not, he’s an injury away from
returning. He’s definitely shown me he’s on the cusp.
Towns Flying Around
In yet another game, Karl-Anthony Towns (KAT) was chasing the ball. He was on the floor and hustling. When the season starts in October, I
hope the Wolves will let the Lexus Club members know to watch out!
Those seated in the first row will receive a visit from KAT.
A telling play was at the end of the game. With time expiring, Towns
asked for the ball. Lorenzo Brown drove to the hoop and was blocked.
The game is basically over, but Towns did NOT give up. He chased down
the ball and got a shot. It did not go in, but he took a shot. That’s
the hustle I love! That experience will pay off in the future.
Yes, there are two Wiggins’ in Vegas. Andrew Wiggins sat courtside
with Zach LaVine, General Manager Milt Newton and owner Glen Taylor & family while Nick Wiggins joined the Wolves wearing #6 and joined the Wolves’ summer roster. The first points of Wiggins’ Minnesota
thanks to Lorezno Brown. He, too, showed drive and made good on his
opportunity. I’m certain his bro was proud.
Payne Trying the Deep Ball
Adreian Payne banked one in & hit front rim on another. Has he done enough to start next season? Probably not, but he’s shown improvement, looked solid (against summer ballers), and has enough on tape to look create a summer to fall workout program.
Jones’ Passing Promise and D to Learn
Tyus Jones will be fun to watch on offense. His game shows the passing
flashes that will only develop as he gets to know his teammates. He
does chase on D and I know that the Wolves and Jones will be working
on that all summer into the fall. Jones will learn how to defend in
the NBA. It’s not easy to make the jump up a level. Summer League is
up one level and the NBA is another level.
Lorenzo Brown showed he’s the #1 guard on the Summer team. He looked
comfortable bringing the ball up the court and was a solid assist-man.
Simply said Brown belongs.
Okafor vs Towns
I’ve spent a lot of time on NBA TV and overheard an interesting
conversation about KAT. During the Bulls versus Phoenix broadcast,
ex-Detroit Piston Isiah Thomas was announcing and talking about his
thoughts on whom he’d choose #1 overall. He admitted knowing Jahlil
Okafor‘s family, then said he understood the Wolves’ choice because of
how their pick would need to fit with LaVine and Wiggins. He liked
Towns, but said that Okafor’s talents make him an 8- to 10-year-All-
Star barring injury. That’s high praise. Only time will tell, but I
can’t imagine not having Towns in a Wolves jersey.
Next, Summer League Game 4.