Orlando Summer League 2014 Schedule: Most Intriguing Matchups to Watch

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2014

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 5: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic speaks with Nerlens Noel #4 of the Philadelphia 76ers during a game on July 5, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Although none of the games count in the NBA standings, the Orlando Summer League is important in the careers of many young players.

Saturday represented the first day of action in a weeklong event, featuring 10 teams trying to win a title. Of course, the bigger purpose is for young players to get some exposure and develop their games against other top talent.

For fans of the sport, this is a great chance to see some of the top rookies and second-year players in action before they blow up under the main spotlight. With this in mind, check out this full schedule of the remaining games, followed by a few matchups that you do not want to miss.

Orlando Summer League 2014 Schedule
DateMatchupTime (ET)
Sunday, July 6Grizzlies vs. Pistons3 p.m.
Sunday, July 676ers vs. Thunder5 p.m.
Sunday, July 6Heat vs. Nets7 p.m.
Monday, July 7Pacers vs. Celtics3 p.m.
Monday, July 7Rockets vs. Magic5 p.m.
Monday, July 7Thunder vs. Nets7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 8Magic vs. Grizzlies3 p.m.
Tuesday, July 8Heat vs. Pistons5 p.m.
Tuesday, July 8Rockets vs. 76ers7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 9Pacers vs. Thunder3 p.m.
Wednesday, July 976ers vs. Nets5 p.m.
Wednesday, July 9Celtics vs. Pistons7 p.m.
Thursday, July 10Pacers vs. Heat3 p.m.
Thursday, July 10Celtics vs. Magic5 p.m.
Thursday, July 10Grizzlies vs. Rockets7 p.m.
Friday, July 11TBD Game 18 a.m.
Friday, July 11TBD Game 210 a.m.
Friday, July 11TBD Game 312 p.m.
Friday, July 11TBD Game 42 p.m.
Friday, July 11TBD Game 54 p.m.
via NBA.com


Top Matchups

Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 5: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball against the Miami Heat on July 5, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograp
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

This is a battle between two of the best point guards in the rookie class when Marcus Smart of the Celtics takes on Elfrid Payton of the Magic. 

While Payton struggled at times, Smart had a solid all-around performance in his debut. Boston summer league coach Jay Larranaga was proud of the effort, via Brian Robb of ESPN Boston:

He plays with a tremendous intensity. He's a great teammate. He showed that from the beginning. He was a big part of why we played so well as a team on both ends of the floor. He had some great help defensive plays you wouldn't expect a 20-year-old to be able to do, but he has a really good idea of team basketball, which is really exciting for us.

Smart will have to battle not just Payton but also Victor Oladipo, who is coming off a strong rookie campaign where he spent time at both guard positions. He has as much NBA experience as almost anyone in the summer league, and he should continue to shine in front of his home fans.

Additionally, fans will be able to see more of rookie Aaron Gordon, who is already showcasing his athletic ability:

If he can continue to make plays and improve on the offensive end, Orlando will be extremely happy about drafting him.


Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 5:  Jordan Adams #1 of the Memphis Grizzlies handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the game on July 5, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

One of the most pleasant surprises from the first day of action in Orlando was the performance by the No. 22 overall pick Jordan Adams. Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv was one of many impressed in the early going:

The guard finished with 22 points, shooting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and adding four steals. He was able to manage a plus-27 mark when on the floor, by far the highest in the game.

Adams was selected a bit higher than many anticipated, but he is already showing the ability to provide the Grizzlies with some much-needed offense.

On the other hand, a guard who went lower than some thought was Nick Johnson. The Arizona star dropped to the 42nd pick of the draft before the Rockets were able to grab him. He was ready to prove all of his doubters wrong right away with 18 points off the bat and one of the biggest dunks you will see all tournament:

This battle between talented rookies might be worth the price of admission on its own.


Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 5: Nerlens Noel #4 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks against the Orlando Magic on July 5, 2014 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, Us
Fernando Medina/Getty Images

After missing all of last season while recovering from an ACL tear, Nerlens Noel was finally able to get onto the court against the Magic, and he did not disappoint.

The center finished the summer league game with 19 points while also contributing four steals, three assists and a block. Brett Dawson of Rivals.com breaks down what he saw from the young player:

Philadelphia acquired him hoping that he could be an impact player in the frontcourt, and he is already showing plenty of potential.

However, he will have to keep showing this ability on a consistent basis to really turn heads. His next game against the Thunder will be a good chance, as he will have to face other young frontcourt competitors like Steven Adams and Mitch McGary.

Adams surprisingly played a relatively big role in his first season with the Thunder after coming in as one of the least polished players in the draft. He averaged 14.8 minutes in 81 games while showcasing his defensive ability with 4.1 rebounds per game.

If Noel can have a good game against Oklahoma City, along with second-round picks K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant, the 76ers will feel pretty good about the future.


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