We expected to see highlight dunks and flashy moves during MGM Resorts Summer League competition in Las Vegas, and a couple of second-year players delivered in spades Friday.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Zhaire Smith ran the floor and resembled a real-life NBA Jam video game animation on multiple buckets. He provided some exhilarating moments in the first day of Summer League action.
Zion Williamson presented a little taste of his game, but a knee injury limited him to nine minutes. In the same contest, on the other side of the court, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson consistently went above the rim, catching alley-oops in motion.
Smith and Williamson can show more of their sizzle Saturday. We'll also see Cam Reddish and Rui Hachimura, two top-10 picks, with the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards, respectively, for the first time.
Check out the times and channels below to follow Day 2 of Summer League play in Vegas.
Saturday, July 6
- Oklahoma City vs. Utah at 3 p.m. on NBA TV
- Portland vs. Detroit at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU
- Atlanta vs. Milwaukee at 5 p.m. on NBA TV
- Boston vs. Philadelphia at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN
- Memphis vs. Indiana at 7 p.m. on NBA TV
- LA Clippers vs. LA Lakers at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU
- Dallas vs. Houston at 9 p.m. on NBA TV
- New Orleans vs. Washington at 10 p.m. on ESPN
- China vs. Sacramento at 11 p.m. on NBA TV
- ESPN Games: WatchESPN
- NBATV Games: NBATV
Cam Reddish in the Spotlight vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Reddish will attempt to put an underwhelming freshman campaign at Duke behind him with a rebuilding squad. He possesses the physical tools to develop into a productive two-way player on the wing. The 19-year-old stands at 6'8", 208 pounds with length, quick feet and a deep shooting range.
On the flip side, Reddish needs to improve his scoring efficiency. He converted just 35.6 percent of his shots from the floor in college.
In his first outing with the Hawks, Reddish can let loose, take shots and show off an ability to run the floor. The coaching staff won't expect him to put all the natural attributes together right away, but he should feel comfortable showcasing a skill set that could help the Hawks on both ends of the floor.
At Duke, Reddish shared the spotlight with three freshman stars, Williamson, RJ Barrett and Tre Jones. Against the Bucks, he'll take center stage as a top-10 pick with high upside.
Zhaire Smith Showing Some Flash
Smith made his presence known in an instant, throwing down a dunk for his team's first basket against the Bucks Friday:
In multiple scenarios, Smith displayed his athleticism when running the floor and leaping to finish plays. He brought teammates on the bench to their feet and drew plenty of oohs and ahs from the crowd with spectacular moves in flight:
Smith recorded 10 points, three rebounds and five assists in a 107-106 win over the Bucks. He'll have another opportunity to flash against the Boston Celtics Saturday and make a case to take on a solid role in the rotation for the 2019-20 campaign.
Philadelphia could bring the 20-year-old off the bench as a spark plug and high-energy asset in the backcourt.
The Phoenix Suns selected Smith with the 16th overall pick in the 2018 draft and sent him to Philadelphia for Mikal Bridges that night.
Smith suffered a Jones fracture last August and underwent a thoracoscopy in September. He only suited up for six games during the 2018-19 regular season. Now, the Texas Tech product seems primed to become a decent contributor in his sophomore campaign.
Zion Williamson's Second Impression
On paper, Friday night's matchup between Williamson and Barrett stirred some buzz, but the actual performances only yielded a few positive talking points.
Barrett struggled from the floor, knocking down 4-of-18 field-goal attempts and 1-of-4 at the free-throw line for 10 points. Williamson scored 11 points.
In one particular sequence, he displayed his hustle, strength and power, ripping the ball away from Kevin Knox and finishing with a two-handed jam:
Williamson experienced discomfort in his knee after some contact on the court and sat on the bench for the second half. In the fourth quarter, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, traced back to Ridgecrest, California, disrupted the action, and officials decided to postpone the game.
Assuming Williamson's knee doesn't swell up, we should see him back on the court against the Washington Wizards.
Although he showcased his usual high energy against the Knicks, the collegiate star had an abbreviated pro debut. Viewers at the Thomas and Mack Center will likely see him for a longer duration Saturday.