After dropping their first two back-to-back summer league games, the Washington Wizards picked up their first victory tonight against the Denver Nuggets, who remained winless at 0-3. On to some Bullet Points:
- Otto Porter looked comfortable right out of the gate, scoring 4 points from transition opportunities. Unfortunately, Porter felt some tightness in his hamstring and sat out the remainder of the game after playing just a few minutes.
- Glen Rice Jr. also had a decent outing, scoring 13 points on 6 for 12 shooting. Rice made his first start for the Wizards tonight, and looked a lot more comfortable than he previously had in the summer league. As Rice begins to become acclimated to the NBA setting, we’ll continue to see some of his scoring abilities come to fruition. Rice is billed as a shooter, but we’ve seen him slash to the basket, stop and pop, and even get involved in the rebounding department.
- At 6’9, Dennis Horner has shown the ability to play some stretch 4 in the summer league. Washington brought Horner to the summer league with hopes of him knocking down some deep shots, and he certainly did tonight against the Denver Nuggets. Horner had previously jacked up some ill-advised shots, but when he plays within the offense (if that’s possible in the summer league), he can be quietly impressive. Horner scored 15 points in 18 minutes off the bench and nailed 3 of his 4 shot attempts beyond the three point arc. If he continues to shoot the ball well from the outside, Horner might earn himself a training camp invite from the Wizards, who are currently looking for a stretch 4 for the upcoming NBA season.
- Jan Vesely was extremely impressive tonight. Scoring 18 points on 9 for 11 shooting, Vesely looked like the best player out on the floor. Dare I say…he looked like a sixth overall pick. Without hesitation, Vesely knocked down a few pick and pop jump shots, scored from the post, and played exceptional defense. It’s evident that Vesely has done some work in the gym this off-season, so I’m glad it’s transitioning in the summer league. Vesely needs that confidence to carry over to the regular season. If he can continue to play with the same amount of energy as he did tonight, he’ll definitely have a shot at earning some playing time next season.
- Another interesting note: Randy Wittman was interviewed during the live game broadcast on NBA TV and he continued to stress the importance of adding more talent to Washington’s roster. Without adding any specific details, Wittman hinted at possible trades that Washington could explore. Wittman also seemed impressed by Glen Rice Jr. and his ability to score the ball, which is certainly something the Wizards could use off the bench.
Overall, it was a good night for the Wizards.
Washington had a day to compose themselves and practice, and it showed in tonight’s performance. Even though it was “just summer league”, Vesely was the best player on the floor tonight, which is certainly a step in the right direction.
Washington will also participate in the summer league tournament which starts tomorrow.