It wasn’t the most pleasing game to watch, but led by Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr., the Washington Wizards managed to sneak past the Miami Heat for a second straight time, improving their NBA Summer League record to 4-0.
Before I get to any other player, I have to acknowledge how good Glen Rice Jr. has been throughout the four games in summer league.
We all knew that Rice was capable of scoring the ball, but I’m not sure any of us were aware of how versatile he is with the ball in his hands. Rice was billed as an outside shooter coming out of the NBA D-League, but he’s proven to be much more than that. He continued to impress on the offensive side of the floor tonight against the Miami Heat, scoring 22 points on 7 of 14 shooting to go along side 10 rebounds.
Washington’s offense was very stagnant tonight, but it quickly picked up when Glen Rice Jr. took control. He forced his way to the basket, getting to the free throw line 13 times and showed that he’s more than capable of putting the ball through the basket. Glen Rice Jr. also finished some very tough and-1 shots around the basket, including a nifty euro-step layup that came late in the game. Overall, Glen Rice Jr. has been very impressive and there’s no doubt that he’ll crack the rotation if his play carries over to training camp and pre-season. He could end up taking the summer league MVP award home if he continues to play this well.
Otto Porter was also solid tonight, contributing with 14 points on 5 of 10 shooting to go with 6 rebounds. Porter wasn’t spectacular, but he did knock down two impressive pull-up three point shots that I didn’t think he had in his arsenal. He also had two beautiful passes, including a bounce pass to initiate a fast-break, but his teammates couldn’t finish the shots. He’s shown that he’s a complete basketball player, and even though the summer league may not suit his game well, he’s shown that he’s capable of contributing at the next level.
Besides Rice and Porter, Daniel Theis was the only player that stood out for the Washington Wizards tonight.
In just over 18 minutes of playing time, Daniel Theis recorded 10 points, 11 rebounds and 4 very impressive, SportsCenter worthy blocks. Bradley Beal joined the commentary crew during the game and pointed out one of Theis’ blocks, saying; “I don’t know what his name is, but that was a great block.”
Khem Birch played just 16 minutes tonight and wasn’t really needed with the way Theis played. I was very impressed by his performance.
Washington will now move on further into the summer league tournament and will meet the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.