Even though all the focus in the NBA is on free agents and potential trades, there is action on the court with the Orlando Summer League kicking off in style. Saturday's action features five games and 10 teams rolling out their prized young stars and some notable veterans.
It's great exposure for rookies to get their feet wet with established NBA players, as well as a way to showcase the bright future of the league. The Summer League also serves as a nice warmup act for the Las Vegas Summer League, which tips off on July 11.
Instead of telling you all about the Orlando Summer League, we are going to go deeper and look at all of the action from Day 1 with scores, stats and some highlights of what went down.
|Brooklyn Nets defeat Indiana Pacers, 101-81||Mason Plumlee, 23 points|
|Boston Celtics defeat Miami Heat, 85-77||Kelly Olynyk, 20 points|
|Orlando Magic defeat Philadelphia 76ers||Nerlens Noel, 19 points|
|Detroit Pistons defeat Houston Rockets, 95-89||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 26 points|
|Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder||-|
Note: Results will be updated following the completion of games
Grizzlies defeat Thunder, 84-63
Capping off the first day of Summer League action was a complete shellacking for the Memphis Grizzlies over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Grizzlies have to feel good about the performance. Both of draft picks stood out as they made their debuts. Jordan Adams led all scorers with 22 points on 5-of-12 shooting including 4-of-6 from three-point range. Meanwhile Jarnell Stokes 10 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
The Thunder obviously didn't have too many positives to take away from the game. However, first-round pick Mitch McGary had his moments, including an emphatic block against Jack Cooley.
He also showcased his ability to finish inside with a dunk for two of his eight points on 3-of-8 shooting.
Perry Jones led the Thunder in scoring with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Next up: Memphis will take on Detroit on Sunday, July 6 at 3. pm. ET. Oklahoma City will look to rebound against Philadelphia Sunday, July 6 at 5 p.m. ET.
Pistons Defeat Rockets, 95-89
Coming off star-studded affairs in the early afternoon, the Orlando Summer League took time to catch its breath with the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets playing an exciting game that went down to the wire.
Even without the marquee names on display, there were some strong performances worth talking about. Chris Crawford was brilliant in 25 minutes, scoring 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting, however he was not the best player on the floor.
Detroit guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 26 points, had six steals and grabbed four rebounds. He also had a brilliant hustle block on Maarty Leunen after the Rockets stole the ball and went into a fastbreak.
Former Louisville star Peyton Siva also had a strong all-around game for the Pistons, reminiscent of his days in college, scoring 16 points and adding six assists in the win. He's one of those players who won't be a star but is valuable to have on a roster.
Next up: Detroit will have a quick turnaround when it takes on Memphis on Sunday, July 6 at 3 p.m. ET. Houston gets Sunday off before taking on Orlando on Monday, July 7 at 5 p.m. ET.
Magic Defeat 76ers, 83-77
In the most star-studded game of the day, the Orlando Magic held off the Philadelphia 76ers behind a strong performance from Victor Oladipo. The No. 2 pick in last year's draft finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Orlando also saw what its dynamic rookie duo will look like. Aaron Gordon looked like the scouting reports said, especially on offense, scoring seven points on 3-for-11 shooting. He did have a nice dunk following a long pass from Oladipo.
Elfrid Payton played just under 18 minutes and only scored two points, but the Louisiana-Lafayette standout did add five assists and three rebounds.
However, this game will be more notable for being the NBA debut of Nerlens Noel. The former Kentucky star did not disappoint with a game-high 19 points. He also added four steals and three assists.
Hollis Thompson also had a game to remember with 14 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end.
Next up: Philadelphia will play Oklahoma City on Sunday, July 6 at 5 p.m. ET. Orlando has Sunday off before playing Houston on Monday, July 7 at 5 p.m. ET
Celtics Defeat Heat, 85-77
The second game of the day was one that NBA fans wanted to pay close attention to since it featured the debuts of two highly-regarded point guards: Boston's Marcus Smart and Miami's Shabazz Napier. Boston's other first-round pick, James Young, sat out the game.
Neither Smart or Napier was particularly effective, despite scoring double figures. Smart shot just 2-for-8 from the floor, while Napier built a house with all his bricks after going 3-for-15 and committing eight turnovers.
On the positive side, Smart did have a nice assist to Mike Moser with the former Oklahoma State star driving before making a nice bounce pass to his teammate for the finish.
The star of Boston's win was Kelly Olynyk, who finished with a game-high 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting and eight rebounds. The seven-footer could be in line for a strong sophomore season in 2014-15 after averaging 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game as a rookie.
Last year, Olynyk finished tied with Victor Oladipo in a survey of fellow rookies conducted by NBA.com to have the best career. He's well on his way to fulfilling that promise, but still has a lot of room to grow.
Next up: Miami will play Brooklyn on Sunday, July 6 at 7 p.m. ET. Boston will take Sunday off before playing Indiana on Monday, July 7 at 3 p.m. ET
Nets Defeat Pacers, 101-81
The first game of the Orlando Summer League was over before it started. The Nets jumped out to a 29-11 lead against the Pacers at the end of the first quarter and never let up until the final buzzer.
The Nets led by 29 at the half and finished with four players in double figures. Leading the way was Mason Plumlee with 23 points on 8-for-11 shooting and seven rebounds in just under 24 minutes. The former Duke standout was effective in Brooklyn as a rookie with 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds while playing just over 18 minutes per game.
Since they didn't have a pick in the 2014 draft, the Nets' lineup consisted mostly of second-year players and D-league standouts.
While he wasn't the star of the game, Jorge Gutierrez did make one of the best plays for the Nets with a great anticipation steal. That was followed by excellent hustle from Indiana's Jackie Carmichael before Marcus Teague finished the play with a dunk.
The Pacers did little right in this game. They shot just 37.3 percent from the floor, 25 percent from three-point range, were outrebounded 43-31 and committed 20 turnovers, however the news was not all bad.
In addition to Carmichael's hustle on the block, Donald Sloan had a nice game with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists. The 26-year-old has been a role player in six NBA seasons, though he did set a career high by appearing in 48 games last year.
Next up: Brooklyn will play Miami on Sunday, July 6 at 7 p.m. ET, while Indiana gets a day off before playing Boston on Monday, July 7 at 3 p.m. ET.